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The world of wealth management: Three themes that have defined the decade | Ten Year Retrospective from JM Finn’s Freddie Woodhead

Part of our series of retrospective blogs celebrating IFA Magazine’s ten year anniversary, Freddie Woodhead, Investment manager at JM Finn, highlights three main themes that have shaped the world of investment and wealth management over the last 10 years.

Costs – as investment managers, I have always been extremely conscious of 3rd party fees and strive to get value for our underlying clients. the disclosures that are now produced as a result of MiFID II, one of the most important regulatory events over the period, has helped focus the minds of fund houses, which can only be a good thing for the industry.

Investing on a global basis – traditionally, wealth managers have focused their investment in the UK for many reasons but the last 10 years has seen a move away from this.  At JM Finn, we have made a conscious effort to widen our outlook away from the UK by broadening out the research of direct stocks and creating a dedicated research function for funds.

I think the biggest trend for the last 10 years has to be the emergence of Environmental, Social and Governance awareness when it comes to investing. Governance has long been a huge part of many investor’s investment process but the move to include the “E” and “S” is a big change and one the industry is still trying to get to grips with.

Looking forward to the next 10 years, I think we will witness the death of dedicated ESG funds, which will become a thing of the past, with all funds incorporating it into their investment process. Many have already done this and it won’t be long before dedicated funds won’t be needed and a fully integrated ESG approach becomes the norm.

I also think we’ll see active management returning with vengeance, probably to the cost of Exchange Trade Funds – probably a biased view but we hope to see active management trump passives over the next 10 years!

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