The main event was a panel discussion moderated by Luba Nikulina, Head of Research at Willis Towers Watson, featuring long standing AMX partners across the industry:
- Whitbread Group Pension Fund – Lena Andrew, Pensions Investment Manager
- Brandywine Global Investment Management LLC – Jim Smith, Head of UK Relationship Management
- J.P. Morgan – Niamh Taylor, Executive Director, Hedge Fund & Alternatives Sales
The speakers shared their experiences with the AMX platform and how it has impacted their organisations. Four key themes stood out:
1) Platforms deliver cost and operational savings
Lena shared how Whitbread’s initial conversation with AMX focused on cost with savings of over £100,000 per annum in manager fees and £4,000 per manager in legal reviews. However, once they started using AMX, they were most impressed by the ongoing operational efficiencies. Lena provides more detail in our recent interview with Whitbread Group Pension Fund.
Jim gave an example of how Brandywine can upload one report that can serve 10 to 15 clients.
“AMX has freed us up operationally to do more value-add tasks for our clients.” – Jim Smith, Brandywine Global Investment Management LLC
In the Q&A there was further discussion of how tax transparent fund structures can offer pension schemes withholding tax savings of 30 to 40 basis points*. AMX makes this simple for asset managers as we operate the fund and leave managers free to focus on the investment strategy.
2) Taking a multi-asset approach
Lena highlighted how multi-asset platforms offer investors diversification, giving Whitbread’s recent de-risking exercise as an example of how they’ve benefited from access to multiple asset classes on AMX.
Niamh observed that platforms with a multi asset focus can produce long term solutions and may stand a better chance of overall success.
3) Streamlining governance
Jim said that asset management continues to be a more competitive and complex world whilst clients continue to face constraints on their governance budgets. He remarked that governance is an important focus for Brandywine Global and working with AMX enables them to deliver a better client experience.
4) Importance of a digital interface
Niamh explained how data is currently accessed in many ways across the industry. Boutique providers through to multi-billion dollar hedge funds manage and access data in a variety of ways including spreadsheets, ftp or extracting it from websites. There is an opportunity for an online tool to provide a solution for managing and storing information.
“It is all about getting the basics right – the pipes and the plumbing.” – Niamh Taylor, J.P. Morgan
Lena described Whitbread’s experience of using the AMX portal to hold factsheets, quarterly investment reports, contract notes and valuation statements in one place. She also observed that AMX is the only platform where the digital interface also allows you to upload and not just download documents which helps Whitbread save time on email and faxes.
Thank you to all our speakers and moderator for sharing their experiences and different market perspectives. They were the centrepiece for a wonderful evening that showcased how AMX integrates with different players across our industry, what it means for asset managers to have AMX as an extension of their distribution force, and how together we can bring savings to the people that matter the most the pension schemes and end savers.
*Tax savings are illustrative and will depend on individual circumstances