Greater Manchester Pension Fund – Paddy Dowdall has moved over to the £12.6bn (€15.1bn) Greater Manchester Pension Fund from Merseyside Pension Fund, where he was senior investment manager, with particular responsibility for alternatives. In his new post, Dowdall will co-ordinate regional investments made by GMPF. Merseyside has just finished advertising for a replacement and will make an appointment in due course.Ancala Partners – Vincent Gerritsen has joined Ancala, an infrastructure investment firm, leaving his post as senior investment manager in the infrastructure team at PGGM. Gerritsen will start his new role at the start of June and becomes a partner at the firm. While at PGGM, Gerritsen worked on several infrastructure projects, including two where Ancala was involved.Neuberger Berman – Andrew Wilmont has joined the fund manager as lead for its European high yield portfolio, based from London. WIimont joins the firm from Alcentra, where he was head of European high yield investments. He will report to Ann Benjamin, CIO of non-investment grade strategies.BNP Paribas Investment Partners – Cynthia Sweeney Barnes has joined the French asset manager as head of global segments for the EMEA countries. She will also be responsible for corporate and endowment clients, insurance companies, pension funds and official institutions. She joins from HSBC Global Asset Management, where she led the sales for corporates and official institutions. She will begin her London-based role next month. Pioneer Investments – Isabelle Spitz has been appointed senior sales manager for Switzerland at the French asset manager. Spitz, from Zurich, will be responsible for wholesale clients such as banks, independent asset managers and family offices.Allfunds Bank – Chris Edge, former managing director of JP Morgan in Luxembourg, is to join the firm to head up its Grand Duchy business. He will be responsible for driving the firms international expansion after over 20 years with JP Morgan in a variety of roles.
Gwynne pointed out that the pressure on fees was in part due to clients and supervisors becoming increasingly cost-aware, “as costs have become an important selection criterion”.In his opinion, another explanation for declining costs was that many clients had opted for low-cost alternatives, such as ETFs and factor investment. He estimated that 40% of the reduction could be explained by this phenomenon.The survey suggested that asset managers dealt with the development by accepting a drop in their profits margin, but also cut costs through their back office. This meant that cost-saving came at the expense of investment in IT systems, which the survey said were necessary to remain competitive. In addition, declining income could lead to mergers and takeovers, the two companies said.The researchers said they expected clients would increasingly opt for extremely low-cost investments in combination with higher-cost active investments.“Through investing a large proportion of assets in ETFs with near-zero costs, they could free up assets for active funds which considerably deviate from the benchmark, or funds that invest in illiquid markets,” the report said.Recently, Saker Nusseibeh, chief executive of Hermes Investment Management, also predicted declining margins at asset managers.During a Morningstar conference, he said that asset managers’ margins of between 35% and 45% were “untenably high”. Asset management costs are to drop by approximately 10% in the next three years, a survey by management consultancy Oliver Wyman and asset manager Morgan Stanley has suggested.In their report, The World Upside Down, the two firms attributed the decline to reduced fees as well as a shift towards exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and factor investment.“The decrease of fees is a trend – last year they dropped 6%,” said Serge Gwynne, partner at Oliver Wyman’s corporate and institutional banking practice.He added that the fall was insufficiently compensated by a rise in assets under management, which had lead to an income drop of roughly 5% at asset managers.
Gaps in the 22-year-old Black Cats star’s paperwork were highlighted following a routine drugs test, and the Premier League and Sunderland resolved the issues as a result. The Premier League remains comfortable with the punishment handed out to Sunderland, and is not thought to believe any legal challenge can be mounted against the decision. Sunderland forward Ji was correctly registered on arrival at the club in 2011, but issues arose after a loan spell with German club Augsburg. Despite always being correctly registered with the Premier League and the Football Association, Ji’s name was missed off a list of Sunderland players sent to world governing body FIFA for doping purposes. Sunderland are thought to have reported this issue to the Premier League as soon as it was brought to their attention. Press Association Sport understands the Premier League’s investigation found that an online form had not been properly submitted to FIFA. Sunderland are thought to have told the Premier League they submitted the form, but that a technical fault caused it never to reach FIFA correctly. The Premier League board is understood to have determined that the technical nature of the oversight merited the fine meted out. Sunderland will not face a points deduction from the Premier League in the continuing row over fielding Ji Dong-won with incomplete registration. The Press Association understands no further action will be taken, despite two of Sunderland’s relegation rivals making enquiries into the Premier League’s disciplinary process. Following Norwich’s 0-0 draw at Chelsea, manager Neil Adams suggested the Canaries are assessing their options relating to Ji. Adams said: “It’s for the board. They’ll look at it, I’m sure, but I wouldn’t want to comment on that. It’s not a football matter. “But I’m well aware of what’s happened. They’re aware of it, and I’m aware that they’re aware of it. But that’s for them. My brief is football matters. That’s the legal side.” Press Association Sport understands the Premier League is confident any issues regarding Sunderland striker Ji’s incomplete registration were resolved as soon as they were uncovered. Fulham and Norwich are understood to have contacted the Premier League for clarification on the fine handed to Sunderland over fielding Ji for four games without full registration. Press Association