Asset Managers Show Optimism despite Market Turmoil

A survey of asset managers from consulting firm FS Associates found continuing optimism amid the financial crisis.

A news release from FS Associates said “very few” of the approximately 70 respondents are changing how they run their business. “They are neither making any alterations to their investment processes nor how they are structuring or pricing their services,” the consulting firm said.

Asset manager firms report that clients are primarily seeking more communication from their managers; fewer than 5% of responding firms indicate the primary response of their clients was hostility or a move to close their accounts.

Other results indicated that none of the respondents see fear and concern among employees at a level that distracts from normal working practices, although 20% did acknowledge some concerns among staff members. One in five of respondents have cut staff, or expect to cut. A quarter of firms plan to add staff, with that proportion even higher for US-based firms.

Approximately half of respondents still see client inflows running ahead of outflows; less than 20% report client inflow drying up completely. More than three-quarters of the respondents believed that they’d emerge from the market turmoil in a better competitive position than before, according to the release.

About half of the respondents to the early November survey were U.S. based.