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STAYING ACTIVE

Matt Shafer, Natixis’ head of international distribution, talks about the challenge of staying ahead of the curve in the face of the threat from passive funds

Distributor Matt Shafer, Natixis

Profitability is dropping across the business of fund management, there’s no doubt about it,” says Shafer. “But it’s up to each asset management company to manage this fee erosion in the right way.”

The success of passives is one of the biggest threats. One way to stay in the game is to drop fees and run funds as cheaply as possible to compete head on with the passive providers. But that’s not the route Shafer wants to take.

“We are not interested in participating in the race to the bottom,” he says. “There is still great value in active management whether it’s highly active funds, smart beta or liquid alternatives. These strategies are very important pieces in clients’ portfolios and there are fees associated with investing in those strategies.”

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About Expert Investor

Nine years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, we ask fund selectors which lessons they have learnt from the financial crisis and how it has changed their jobs. We also answer the question whether it makes sense for asset allocators to use multi-asset funds. Last but not least, there are profile interviews with Alessandro Viviani, fund analyst at Old Mutual Wealth in Milan, and Matt Shafer, head of global distribution at Natixis AM.
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