Three strategic questions asset managers need to answer 

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To stay relevant, we regularly monitor the asset classes and solutions that asset managers focus on in the press – and compare them to the asset allocation plans of UK pension schemes. Here are three key questions managers should consider given the latest market developments – and how our solutions can help address them.


The last few months have been an extremely turbulent time for UK investors. It is all too easy to just focus on powering through such an environment. However, our press coverage data suggests there is a hidden undercurrent that may make 2022 and 2023 even more challenging for asset managers.

Press coverage of passive solutions and exchange traded funds is at an all-time high since 2019, across asset classes. The popularity of such solutions among asset managers has increased about threefold in the past two months alone. This change in focus is likely a product of market turbulence and the convergence of cross-asset correlations in such conditions.

Given the poor performance in listed assets, actively managed solutions may lose their appeal due to their higher fees. The problem is that most managers may not review the value for money their fees are delivering until investors start pulling their capital out. It is in times like we are currently experiencing that it is crucial to be crystal clear on your value proposition – and make sure it is steeped in hard facts.


The popularity of impact investing has started increasing again – it is up by about 50% this month compared to the last, across a variety of asset classes and markets. The universe of impact investing has increased substantially in the last two years and now includes thematic funds, Article 9 funds, social impact investments, natural capital solutions and much more. So where are UK institutional investors directing their capital? 

An obvious answer might be energy, due to its direct role in the climate transition. However, this view oversimplifies the impact investment universe – and most managers do not consult their target audience before developing new products and solutions for institutional investors. Such an approach unfortunately leaves them biased and reacting to the last conversation they had.


It is great that infrastructure plays such a crucial role in achieving net zero – but what about real estate? Its representation in the real assets universe is still very high: real estate comprises half of all alternative assets press coverage we track, as well as half of all product launches and fundraising in real assets. It is also interesting to see that half of all new hires across over the last month are in real assets.

These new hires have one important task: to figure out what role real estate will play as business models in various sectors evolve to improve both their environmental and social impact. It is worrying that just one in five articles covering real assets talk explicitly about ESG credentials, according to our press radar.


If you have any questions about the above, please don’t hesitate to contact me or your account manager at mallowstreet.

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