Speaking at a FundQuest briefing this morning global CEO Michel Anastassiades said he anticipated a shift away from index-hugging products as investors are no longer content with a product marginally outperforming a benchmark which is already negative.
He said: “In terms of demand, the market will evolve towards non-benchmark products with reinforced protection of capital return. Investors are looking for portfolios not linked to indices.
“This is good as it will give the manager a lot more autonomy in managing different asset classes including cash.”
FundQuest is the multi-manager arm of BNP Paribas Investment Partners, the asset management arm of the French-Belgium BNP Paribas group.
Stricken financial group Fortis has agreed with BNP Paribas to extend discussions over its break-up until March 6.
Anastassiades said the extension was to allow BNP to review Fortis’ 2008 results and ensure that it was not buying into any “bad surprises”.
BNP said Anastassiades was not informed of any negotiations but he said it was continuing to review the situation with shareholders and believed that an announcement on a deal was “close” but wouldn’t discard the posibility that this decision could also be negative.
Anastassiades said in the event of a tie-up between BNP Paribas and stricken Belgium-Dutch financial group Fortis he would look to integrate its multi-manager offering into FundQuest. He said: “Fortis has a process which is fairly similar to ours and I would not expect great problems merging it into FundQuest.”