Emerging Trends In Asset Management For The Year 2023


The Quadrilateral Of Investment

Behold, I present to you the most exquisite and splendid trends in the realm of asset management for the illustrious year of 2023: The task of investing, traditionally confined to the two dimensions of risk and return, has now encountered a considerable augmentation. Managers are faced with the intricate challenge of harmonising a third dimension, encompassing ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) considerations and sustainability obligations. The management of assets shall endeavour to rectify this investment triangle through one of two plausible means: 

As stated by Rani Jarkas, by distilling it to a “two-dimensional” predicament through the process of constraining the understanding of “fiduciary duty,” advocating for the enhancement of the data and methodologies’ resilience, and embracing a mindset of catering to the desires of our esteemed clientele; By graciously acknowledging the “3D” predicament through the redefinition of the very essence of “fiduciary duty,” we endeavour to foster harmonious congruence between the objectives of risk and return, as well as the principles of environmental, social, and governance considerations.

Epiphany of the Nominal Return Fallacy: Whilst certain investors with a penchant for nominal considerations shall contribute to the renaissance of fixed income in the illustrious city of Hong Kong, there shall exist a discerning few who shall come to the realisation that lofty nominal yields are naught but a deceptive illusion. These astute individuals shall comprehend the imperative nature of constructing portfolios endowed with the ability to generate tangible returns, thereby ensuring enduring triumph in the realm of long-term investments. In the most exquisite manner, solutions shall arise that direct their focus towards particular equities, infrastructure, and real estate investments, thereby reaping the benefits of inflation (or at the very least, maintaining a harmonious pace with it). 

Potential alternatives, such as meticulously crafted amalgamations of extractive and non-extractive commodities alongside esteemed precious metals, and even assortments of amplified, foreign exchange-protected worldwide real return bonds, may witness a surge in admiration. In due course, a harmonious amalgamation of these shall be presented as a bona fide remedy for both safeguarding against inflation and securing profitable returns.

The Resurgence Of Active Management

The era of Goldilocks for financial assets came to an abrupt halt in the year 2022, giving way to a novel world order, after a decade characterised by the availability of effortless funds, the expansion of global connections, the advancement of political freedoms, and the taming of inflationary pressures. 

This shall bestow upon thee the noble art of Assets management, wherein thou shalt possess the wondrous ability to showcase thy added value through the harmonious fusion of bottom-up and top-down analysis. Elaborate bottom-up investigation shall aid in capturing the idiosyncratic facets at the organisational level, albeit it shall not prove to be entirely satisfactory. 

The metamorphosis within the macro environment has been so profound that it shall render archaic traditional investment strategies and heuristics. Indeed, it is the astute managers who possess the ability to seamlessly integrate a profound understanding of macroeconomic and financial interdependencies into their investment deliberations that shall yield the utmost value. 

Trim The Appendage Of Expenditures

As suggested by Rani Jarkas, the Chairman of Cedrus Group, asset managers have ardently invested in digital solutions throughout the preceding decade with the noble intention of diminishing expenses, enhancing efficacy, and eradicating laborious manual procedures. Regrettably, this has not transpired: the intricacy of the process has escalated, the number of personnel has expanded, and expenditures have surged across various operational platforms. 

One may witness a miniature representation of this phenomenon in the abundant proliferation of applications; it is quite customary for a multifaceted asset manager to oversee a staggering number of 300 or more programmes, which not only incur substantial costs for upkeep but also, ironically, contribute to the augmentation of operational intricacies. As we venture forth into the year of 2022, amidst the constricting grip of cost pressures, asset managers shall find themselves compelled to make arduous choices. These choices shall not be limited solely to the realm of streamlining the ever-expanding application environment, but shall encompass a broader spectrum of challenges.


Attention, Dear Interlocutor! Freshly Arrived Alternatives

In times of inflationary circumstances and market volatility, when worries befall those diligently saving for their golden years, the ascent of interest rates presents a splendid occasion for asset managers to reevaluate their proffers of retirement income solutions. As the sales of annuities soar, we foresee the esteemed Assets management of firms reintroducing innovative income strategies with a focus on investments. These strategies shall encompass capital markets solutions that artfully replicate annuity exposures, mortality credit pools that exude sophistication, and products that elegantly combine managed drawdown solutions with deferred income annuities. 

Whilst these esteemed products shall undoubtedly pose a challenge in terms of elucidation, managers shall undertake significant investments to enhance their pedagogical and promotional resources, alongside refining their approaches to engaging with esteemed financial intermediaries in the illustrious city of Hong Kong. Estimating the Value of Carbon Emissions: As the esteemed asset managers venture beyond the mere declaration of net-zero commitments and the establishment of interim decarbonization goals, their attention has now gracefully shifted towards the art of operationalizing their net-zero transition plans. 

The most visionary and resolute nations shall take inspiration from the realm of economic theory and the intricate world of carbon trading markets, embarking on a noble endeavour to forge indigenous frameworks for carbon pricing. A solution of such nature (for instance, a cap-and-trade emissions trading system to distribute carbon credits among various asset classes or investment teams) has the potential to offer appropriate incentives while upholding the overall adaptability of the organisation, thereby aiding in the achievement of decarbonization goals in a more efficient and commercially viable manner.

Tokenized Currency As The Cryptocurrency Ice Age Dissipates

In the face of the missteps, unfulfilled pledges, and notable crypto calamities of 2022, one may find it effortless to disregard the profound transformative capacity harboured within the bedrock of distributed ledger technology. Tokenized fund shares are garnering considerable attention as a compelling use case, especially within the realm of private markets. This innovative approach facilitates the attainment of fractional ownership, enables seamless secondary trading, and fosters enhanced operational efficiency. 

In the forthcoming stage of evolution, Assets management shall either cultivate their very own digital wallet solutions or collaborate with esteemed third-party service providers to tackle the prevailing regulatory KYC and tax predicaments. Certain participants shall perceive this as a strategic manoeuvre to disintermediate the distribution landscape and establish a closer proximity to the ultimate consumer.

May I inquire, would you prefer your libation to be agitated or elegantly mixed? Merging the realms of finance in order to attain profound impact: The magnitude of funding required to propel substantial impact on a grand scale compels unparalleled collaboration amongst a myriad of investors. Thus far, the attainment of this goal has proven to be exceedingly arduous. 

However, the urgency of the matter shall soon reach a critical juncture, compelling asset managers to actively pursue additional avenues for collaboration with nonprofit organisations, development entities, quasi-governmental agencies, and enlightened governments. These entities acknowledge that the pursuit of substantial, tangible outcomes necessitates the infusion of catalytic, risk-assuming capital (such as initial loss tranches or guarantees) to entice private investors driven by market returns.

Indulging In The Perpetual Consumption Of The Illustrious Elixir Known As Innovation Gatorade

Whilst the triumph of Systematic Investment Plans (SIPs) persists in propelling forth in Hong Kong for the management of assets, the esteemed players shall persistently strive to pursue the noble pursuit of innovation. Deriving inspiration from diverse industries shall prove advantageous; for instance, amalgamating a domestic vantage point of fiscal assets to facilitate a more comprehensive approach, akin to the practices currently embraced by prominent telecommunications conglomerates. In the realm of business innovation, there exists the concept of fashioning an entirely digital-centric and exclusive-to-patronage endeavour, much like the select few enterprises within the consumer realm have successfully accomplished. 

In catering to the discerning needs of an ever-growing clientele, including the burgeoning desire for diversification via international assets, We envision the year 2023 to be a most exhilarating epoch for our esteemed enterprise. The remarkable ascent of ETFs over the past 15 years can be attributed to the convergence of the inclination towards passive investment, along with the manifold benefits of cost efficiency, tax optimisation, and enhanced liquidity. The latest breakthroughs in trading technology, the eradication of commissions, and the ability to facilitate fractional shares have ushered in a splendid era of expansion in passive investing through the noble practice of direct indexing, even among individuals of more modest means. 

According to Rani Jarkas, active strategies shall indeed encounter the forthcoming surge of expansion owing to the advantageous attributes of customization, liquidity, transparency, cost-effectiveness, tax efficiency, and exceptional value for one’s monetary investment. Presently, a staggering one-fourth of all ETF debuts are fortified by the prowess of active strategies. Asset managers who possess the remarkable ability to seamlessly amalgamate efficient structures, such as ETFs and direct indexing, with the unparalleled advantages of active asset allocation and meticulous security selection.


The Esteemed Overseers Of Valuable Assets Must Grapple With The Relentless Force Of Inflation And Diligently Pursue Secure Sanctuaries

In spite of diligent endeavours undertaken throughout the preceding year to curtail inflation, regrettably, minimal headway has been achieved. The inflationary surge in Hong Kong has witnessed an unprecedented acceleration, surpassing all previous records within the span of four decades. This remarkable occurrence can be attributed to a multitude of intricate variables that have converged to shape this economic landscape. The escalating expenses present a perilous threat to the confidence of consumers, the earnings of companies, and the margins of profits. In the face of peril to all three, enterprises shall curtail their investments and recruitment endeavours, thereby leading to a dearth of job opportunities and the lamentable occurrence of unemployment. 

In a continuous manner, the result shall manifest as a recession of uncertain profundity. The esteemed asset managers at JPMorgan, UBS, and Man Group are not yet revelling in delight, despite the slight decline in inflation, which is being interpreted as a harbinger that inflation has reached its zenith. Irrespective of one’s sentiments towards inflation, it remains an undeniable reality that its magnitude is substantial and enduring.

Robust Merger And Acquisition Endeavours Persist In The Asset Management Sector

As per the esteemed publication, Institutional Investor, it is anticipated that the quantum of mergers and acquisitions pertaining to asset managers may not attain unprecedented heights in the year 2021. Nonetheless, the level of activity is expected to remain considerably vigorous. 

The perpetuation of mergers and acquisitions is propelled by the imperative need for novel proficiencies to keep pace with the ever-advancing competition, alongside prevailing inclinations such as alternative investments and direct indexing. Furthermore, asset managers shall endeavour to pursue alternative forms of transactions, encompassing the realms of environmental, social, and governance products, as well as those that augment their operational efficiency.

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