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Eurizon Capital: currency and macro will aid international growth

Tommaso Corcos on Eurizon’s new currency and macro partnership: Eurizon SLJ Capital

Europe’s asset management growth is expected to drop to just single digits this year, according to Fitch Ratings. But they predict faster change as firms adopt disruptive technologies and explore more sustainable growth areas. CEO Tommaso Corcos explains how Eurizon Capital has been leveraging technology to improve back-office efficiency as well as provide better service to its clients. And he introduces the new currency fund launched by Eurizon SLJ Capital – a partnership with SLJ Macro Partners – and discusses the even greater diversification the firm will be able to offer soon in macro strategies.

European CEO: Europe’s asset management growth is expected to drop to just single digits this year, according to Fitch Ratings. But they predict faster change as firms adopt disruptive technologies and explore more sustainable growth areas. Joining me is Tommaso Corcos from Eurizon Capital.

Tommaso, talk to me about the experience that Eurizon’s had so far this year.

Tommaso Corcos: Well, we’re very happy for the moment – given also the environment you mentioned. It’s pretty difficult for the industry. So we are facing good inflows this year, and after two extraordinary years of growth in 2014 and 2015. And we can say that probably the industry also had some difficulties in 2015. So we’re very happy about our results.

Mostly, if we consider that we continue to expand our business in Europe. We are creating two branches in France and in Germany. And we are also very much satisfied from the results coming from our joint venture in China, where we are growing at an incredible rate.

European CEO: You formed another partnership here in London; tell me about this partnership, and about the difference in investor sentiment you’re seeing between the UK and mainland Europe.

Tommaso Corcos: Certainly the UK investor is more used to investing in equities and riskier assets. The Italians are more used to getting yield from bonds – so the classic BTP investment. So now the situation has changed, and a lot of savers are obliged to exit their comfort zone, and to invest more in different asset classes, and eventually also in equities. So it’s a learning process, that probably in England that’s already reached certain levels, and in Italy we still have to work on that.

Coming to the second point, to Stephen Li Jen, we’re very enthusiastic about this partnership, because having Stephen Li Jen and his partner Fatih Yilmaz, we’ve been able to insert within our products two different capabilities in currencies and in macro currency strategies. So we’re very happy about that.

European CEO: You have already launched a currency portfolio fund; tell me about this.

Tommaso Corcos: We launched the currency product – we strongly believe that currency is a different asset class that adds diversification within a portfolio, because there’s a low correlation with other asset classes. So this is something that’s very important from a diversification point of view.

And also, we are going to launch a macro strategy, which is the capability that Stephen and Fatih will lend to our new products. And we also put at the disposal of our customers the research that Stephen and Fatih make, on which they base their investment decisions. So this is another service that we’re going to give to our customers.

European CEO: What other innovative funds are we seeing coming to market?

Tommaso Corcos: I think that investment solutions are still the right solution for the customers. I mean, fully diversified asset class, fully diversified investment that with one single investment give the final savers the possibility to fully diversify. And this type of diversification is related to the type of risk that is ready to accept. Related also to MIFID II system. And so I think that these are the types of solutions that we are continuously creating on the market.

European CEO: So how is technology changing the asset management landscape?

Tommaso Corcos: Technology can be seen from two different angles. One angle is, technology as a contributor in improving your efficiency. And the other is in giving a better customer experience – when they access your system, or when entering contact with Eurizon. I think that we are taking advantage of both the two aspects of the technology. We’ve been able to improve our capabilities, and improve our efficiencies in our system. And also we’ve been able to give better service, exploiting the technology tools that are available to our customer.

So we create applications, we create websites for our single distributor. And we were able to create single contents to put there. We have a studio where we record money manager interviews, and we’re ready to put it immediately at the disposal of our customers. So we have a sort of update daily to our customers.

European CEO: Tommaso, thank you very much.

Tommaso Corcos: Thank you very much Paul.

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