Friday 23rd February 2018
February 23rd 2018: John Hardy, head of FX Strategy at Saxo Bank says in today’s client note that: “The latest European Central Bank minutes showed a debate on leaving the door open to QE resumption if conditions warranted, ultimately leading to the dropping of this language in the forward guidance. The headlines have seized on the discussion of the volatility of the euro in the minutes and the phrase that this provided “a source of uncertainty that required monitoring". ECB president Draghi offered a stern rebuttal at the most recent ECB meeting to a (likely offhand) statement by US Treasury Secretary Mnuchin that a weak dollar is a benefit to the US economy. The expectations for ECB policy unwinding have gone into neutral over the last couple of weeks, even with the recent recovery in risk appetite, and this kind of language from the ECB, heavy EUR long speculative positioning, and a rather sharp deceleration in the most recent PMIs are making it tough sailing for EUR bulls. Speaking of positioning, the JPY short is shrinking but still very large. Often, when the JPY is on the move, it is directly traceable to something else afloat in the markets, whether from direct signals from the central bank, or large swings in risk appetite or bond yields. But this recent move feels qualitatively different and rather significant, as if the market is changing its mind about its underlying assumptions (that the BoJ will forever be the policy laggard and as long as we aren’t seeing a market meltdown, carry trades versus the JPY are a no-brainer) and this could lead to a broad-based repricing of the G10’s cheapest currency” -

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Steve Young

Steve Young

CEO, Citisoft PLC

Steve brings with him over 30 years of experience in the investment management industry. He provides a blend of business understanding, extensive knowledge of the technology and software landscape and in depth understanding of the services sector. Prior to joining Citisoft Steve was one of the team that created Rhyme Systems following a management buy-out from Misys PLC, successfully restructuring the business into a leading software and services company. Prior to Rhyme, Steve held senior positions at Thomson Reuters, Extel Financial and Datastream.

In the current environment, the three central tenets of client servicing within asset and wealth management are smart technology, well-managed data and agility.

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Asset managers, particularly active ones, have to deliver more of what technology can’t do in an environment where their margins are shrinking. The bigger firms will have to change their operating models and their technology stacks. All of this requires investment for the future.

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In my view, analytics and business intelligence (BI) are an underutilised capability in most investment management firms.

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Thursday, 28 April 2016 15:33

Time is running out for POINT planning

In December last year, Bloomberg purchased Barclays POINT. POINT software is used extensively for risk analytics, performance attribution and scenario analysis and the application plays a significant role in fixed income asset management for many firms.

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For asset managers, the prospect of a Brexit must revive some of the same considerations (and fears) that the Scottish referendum created two years ago. Virtually every asset management CEO in the country will be thinking, or have pondered, ‘What would be the operational impact on my business and how would a Brexit affect my clients?’ 

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The asset management industry needs to outsource more, but it needs to outsource operations to a utility model with common practices. The issue is that there are currently too few outsourcers that are offering a truly homogenised product.

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In my last blog, I discussed the need for asset management firms to take a more strategic approach to their IT infrastructures.

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If you look at nearly all of the research in the market, it says that the global fund management industry is in good shape. Almost all the indicators predict fairly healthy growth in assets under management for fund houses in the long-term. The future looks positive. If you look at the IT infrastructure of many fund managers, however, you will often find that they are neither efficient nor effective.

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