Despite the difficult environment, financial advisers in Europe remain optimistic

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( – Natixis Investment Managers (Natixis IM) publishes its survey of financial professionals. It operates with 2,700 people (wealth managers, approved investment advisers, financial planners and independent brokers) including 1,050 based in Europe and the UK.

this study focuses on his vision of the evolution of his profession in the coming years. While the results show that the majority of professionals expect the development of their business, they indicate a difficult market: double-digit correction in stocks and bonds, record inflation in the first half of 2022… Therefore, they may review their results. growth ambitions

and will have to adapt their investment strategies while managing the high expectations of their clients…

Navigating a volatile and risky environment

Geopolitics, inflation and rising interest rates are the three main market risks identified by financial professionals in Europe, the UK and France. It should be noted that geopolitical risk is a big concern for Europeans (78%) and the French (74%), while the world average is 57%.

As the global economy entered a post-pandemic recovery and energy demand was high, the war in Ukraine had a significant impact on inflation. Almost two-thirds of professionals in Europe (64%) and France (65%) now consider it a major threat to portfolios.

The change in the monetary policy of the central banks, aimed at combating the inflationary curve, constitutes an additional uncertainty: the increase in interest rates is a primary risk for more than one in two professionals in Europe (51.3 %) and even more in France (61.3%).

The plebiscite of alternative investments to counter market uncertainties

I do not believe that the slide of the market will continue until the end of the year. On average, the respondents predict that most of the reference indices will return to growth, albeit timid, from December 2022: thus, French professionals bet on a performance of 0.7% of the CAC 40 when their British counterparts, more confident, looking for a rhythm. of 4.7% for the FTSE and of 2.2% for the S&P 500.

In this gloomy environment, where the performance of stocks and bonds are correlated and where values ​​are depreciated, alternative solutions are on the rise. More than 60% of respondents (68% in Europe and 66% in France) say that current market conditions make these investments particularly attractive, such as infrastructure, private assets and commodities. It is the latter that are considered the most attractive asset class, especially in an inflationary environment for 73% of Europeans and 70% of the French.

Acquisition of new customers and digitization of services to support growth in 2022

Despite the negative indicators, financial advisors are betting on an upward trend in their activities: growth, annualized, would be 13% on average in Europe and 8.8% in France in 2022. Priority is given to the acquisition of clients and assets: European professionals. They plan to add 44 new customers to their business portfolio annually, while the French are much more optimistic and hope to welcome 65 new customers annually over the next three years.

Advisors are also focused on improving access to technology (44% in Europe; 46% in France) with customer applications and customer relationship management tools, seen as steps essential to support Development. In this area, the main barrier to entry is only the cost of implementation, according to 47% of advisers in Europe (45% in France).

Create value for customers…

Knowing that the favorable conditions that drove performance in the last decade are over, professionals need to adapt their portfolios and trading strategies.

Half of them (respectively 48% in Europe and 50% in the United Kingdom) say that in this new environment, success will depend on their ability to bring value to their customers, beyond the portfolio building.With this in mind, the different paths mentioned are: Portfolio models
: for more than 8 out of 10 respondents (85% in Europe and 79% in France), the use of the model portfolio is now part of the practice and 7 out of 10 say that clients appreciate them for the its financial planning services. . Fiscal management
: clients do not include tax considerations in their investment decisions according to 69% of European professionals and 64% in France. Almost three quarters (73% in Europe and 71% in France) say that reducing taxes is one of the levers to give value to customers. The ESG breakthrough

: almost 7 out of 10 (67% in France and Europe) believe that responsible investments or investments that respect ESG criteria are now a better way to invest. According to 36% of them in France, their customers have not yet included responsible products in their portfolio, but the situation could change radically. 48% of the French respondents are really convinced that ESG strategies will be fundamental for the construction of the portfolio in the next 5 years.

750 respondents based in Europe and 300 based in the UK.

The Natixis Investment Managers Global Financial Professionals Survey 2022 was conducted by CoreData Research in March and April 2022. The survey was conducted among 2,700 financial professionals, including corporate advisors, registered investment advisors and brokers and independent traders, with $4 ,4 billion in client assets, in 16 countries in North America, Europe, the United Kingdom, Asia and Latin America. In France, CoreData interviewed 150 financial professionals with a average of 17 years of experience in the sector.

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