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Amundi sets ambitious asset raising targets and launches Prime ETF range

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Amundi, Europe’s largest fund manager, has announced ambitious plans to double the assets under management of its ETF, Indexing and Smart Beta business line to EUR200 billion by 2023. 

Speaking in London, Fannie Würtz (pictured), Head of Amundi ETF, Indexing and Smart Beta, said: “We have been experiencing very fast growth, faster than the ETF market.”

Game changers for Würtz include a challenging market environment with low interest rates, a new regulatory framework, specifically MiFID which brings more transparency, and new distribution channels.

“All in all, if you put yourself into the client’s perspective there is a growing focus on costs which is beneficial for everyone,” Würtz said.

The London event also saw the launch of a new low-cost ETF range by the firm, Amundi Prime, a series of nine Equity and Fixed Income ETFs, all based on Solactive indices as their underlying, with fees of 0.05 per cent of ongoing charges.

Other drivers to get Amundi to its target of doubling its assets are increasing client coverage in Europe, Asia and even Latin America, where it has launched in Mexico. The firm also plans to enhance its product offerings and investment solutions and boost its retail market presence.

Würtz said that as the largest asset manager in Europe and in the top 10 worldwide the firm has huge powers in the indexing business which enables it to offer a low-cost solution. 

“One of our strong pillars is cost-efficiency,” Würtz said. “We can discuss with clients wherever they are and understand their challenges and co-create solutions.”

The firm currently has 120 ETFs, plus these nine new ones, with an average cost of 22 basis points. 

Looking forward, the firm is making new senior hires and continues to focus on its ESG offering.

“ESG is the very DNA of Amundi,” Würtz said and reports that two thirds of the RFPs the firm receives incorporate an ESG element. The firm was the first asset manager to sign the UN Principles for Responsible Investment, and offers SRI ETFs on both equities and fixed income, having been the first firm to offer a fixed income ETF with SRI exposure.

“Our new Prime range is very simple and ultra-low cost,” Würtz said. “It is very easy to understand for retail clients and offers the main building blocks. Clients say they want something simple and understandable and to have core building blocks at a good price.”

Also present at the event was Ashley Fagan, Head of ETF, Indexing and Smart Beta Development for UK and Ireland / Global Head of Strategic Accounts Coordination who commented on the reluctance of UK intermediaries to use ETFs.

“There is a change in increase of demand from early adopters in the UK market,” she said, citing regulatory change such as MiFID and RDR as drivers that have promoted the use of ETFs for end investors within the UK.

She also commented that in the UK, as opposed to continental Europe, index mutual funds were adopted before ETFs, which has had some impact.

“We expect the growth to continue,” she said. “Just getting the ability to have a broader range with cost efficiency is clearly important.”

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