Amundi had a strong year in 2018, says Matthieu Guignard, Global head of product development and capital markets – Amundi ETF, Indexing & Smart Beta, with inflows at EUR3.8 billion. The inflows brought Amundi’s ETF assets up to EUR38.6 billion, ranking them in the top five ETF providers in Europe.
“The inflows were driven by two pillars,” Guignard says. “Cost efficiency and innovation.”
Amundi’s ability to offer new solutions at a very cost efficient price has made them appealing to investors, Guignard says. “We also developed bespoke solutions for institutional clients or distributors to get it up to specific needs and meet their demands on anything customised.”
Last year saw strong flows in Europe in vanilla equities and fixed income strategies, with close to 35 per cent in equities and 25 per cent into world government bonds.
“We have a very broad and large fixed income tool box in fixed income,” Guignard says. “We offer both vanilla exposures but also more sophisticated products like aggregate indices covering all together in one single product government, corporate and high yield.
“We also offer floating rate note solutions. Here the idea is to offer exposure to credit both in the Euro and the dollar universe with low sensitivity to government interest rates movements.”
Another category of more sophisticated bond offerings is Amundi’s BBB range of corporate products. “Here the idea is to go, in this low rate environment, and search for the remaining yield investors can find in the credit universe by going at the lower end of the investment grade universe with BBB bonds.”
Another development over 2018 for Amundi has been the launch of two corporate products, one in the US and in Europe with SRI filters.
“We see growing demand in that area coming from the wishes of many of our clients to build diversified and balanced SRI solutions and also to adapt the SRI requirements that they had in the equity world into the fixed income world which is something pretty new.”
Amundi has always been at the forefront of the SRI offering, having been the first asset manager to sign the UN Principles for Responsible Investment.
“We want to invest strongly in this approach and offer the relevant products both in equities and fixed income,” Guignard says.
In terms of equities, he says that the idea is to have a broad and generic offer to cover all underlyings at a cost efficient level and also have a full SRI range of ETFs to offer passive and cost efficient solutions to Amundi’s clients.
Looking forward, the firm is going to focus on three main pillars. The first is the rising demand for ETF based solutions from distributors selling products to retail clients. “We see that rising demand in the post MiFID II environment,” Guignard says. “Especially with the new regulatory requirements and more transparency around costs. In this environment, ETFs meet the distributors need for a cost-efficient allocation that acts at the bricks in funds of funds, guaranteed products or notes or the many different approached within this solution world.”
The second trend is continuing to expand the SRI approach to the passive world and the third is to expand the Amundi ETF franchise in new regions, following up from their launch in Mexico, growing demand from Latin America and Asia.