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Última actualización: 06:55 / Friday, 19 de July de 2019
New office in Miami

Alberto D'Avenia (Allianz Global Investors): "We Offer Active Management, Customized Investment Solutions and Risk Management for the US Offshore Market"

Alberto D'Avenia (Allianz Global Investors): "We offer active management, customized investment solutions and risk management for the US offshore market"
At the right of the picture, Alberto D'Avenia, Managing Director and Head of US Non-Resident Business (NRB) and LatAm Retail of Allianz GI. / Funds Society, Madrid
  • Allianz Global Investors focuses on wealth management and retail distribution, for which the firm has developed a series of proprietary tools
  • "We offer investment solutions based on a deep analysis of what our partners need, incorporating risk management into the process”
  • Another important strength of AllianzGI, as part of a large insurance company, is the generation of long-term value under changing market conditions and individual investor circumstances
By Alicia Jiménez de la Riva
By Beatriz Zúñiga

Allianz GI prides itself on the actively managed personalized investment solutions it offers the US offshore market. "A crucial decision we have taken at the business level is our approach to this market. We have joined all our efforts to provide coverage and service to this region, focusing on wealth management partners," explains Alberto D'Avenia, Managing Director and Head of US Non-Resident Business (NRB) and LatAm Retail of Allianz GI, during an interview with Funds Society in his new office in Miami.

The firm has set its eyes on Latin America, where one of its first steps will be to reinforce the brand’s presence. "Allianz Global Investors is a very well-known asset manager in Europe, where the company is based, but the insurer is also known in the US and Latin America. Right now, we have better recognition in some LatAm countries than others, such as Mexico and Brazil,” D’Avenia says.

AllianzGI is 100% owned by the multinational insurance company Allianz SE, one of the three largest insurance companies in the world. At the end of 2018, AllianzGI had USD 577 billion in assets under management, of which 70% corresponds to institutional clients and approximately 30% to the retail segment. "Our investment solutions cover the entire investment spectrum: fixed income over 36%, multi-assets 25%, another 25% in equities and the rest corresponds to alternatives, a segment in which we are significantly growing thanks to our positioning as an active management firm,” adds D'Avenia.

To grow in the United States offshore market, the managing director and his team are basing their value proposition on a clear active management philosophy. "According to our own reports, only 23% of institutional clients believe in this type of management, so we consider it important to be true to our label. On the other hand, we believe only a partnership approach – far from selling just the best performing product – is what ultimately pays off.”

D’Avenia continues, “As our history shows, at Allianz Global Investors we are not mere sellers of funds. What we offer are customized investment solutions that cover the needs of investors, after a deep analysis of their profiles and incorporating risk management. Passive management has steadily gained market share in the past few years, but we are not compromising our philosophy of active management. We cover an underserved part of the market by offering personalized investment solutions. We are not advisors, but we do have to understand the investor and his ability to take risks in order to offer the best alternatives, strategies and investment ideas,” he explains.

As part of a large insurance company, two of Allianz GI’s strengths lie in its focus on risk management and the generation of long-term value. For this reason, D'Avenia points out that, together with individualized investment solutions, "We offer a risk management service that is tackled by risklab, our specialized department that allows us to understand the risks investors seek and can take, and how that translates in their model portfolios.”

To bring its investment solutions to the US market, the manager has opened an office in Miami, which adds to those in New York, San Francisco, Dallas, Boston and San Diego. D’Avenia points out the international structure of AllianzGI, saying, "As a global company, we do not usually identify headquarters, but we have offices distributed all over the world. This leaves us with significant flexibility. For instance, having a regional investment hub in London has not created particular concerns in the context of Brexit due to our governance model.”

The Miami office will be manned by D'Avenia and by Josh Sylvester, who has already covered South Florida for five years at AllianzGI. In D’Avenia’s opinion, it is important to approach this market with not only a physical presence but with the ability to provide services and support remotely. Otherwise, he says, "It would be impossible for AllianzGI to cover such a large market as the Americas," which has approximately 5,000 financial advisors and private bankers, including Latin American broker-dealers.

"If we wanted to meet personally with each investor, seeing about a hundred people a month, it would take us years to contact everyone once. We believe that it is not a question of setting up an office with three or five people, but of having the appropriate support model to get closer to everyone. Therefore, in recent years, we have invested enough to provide remote support through a new website, which will now be adapted to LatAm distributors, and tools that enable conference calls as well as making materials available in English and Spanish dedicated specifically to the offshore market,” D’Avenia explains.

The managing director recognizes that the offshore market in the US and Latin America is somewhat different from the European market, where there are fewer independent brokers and where large financial advisors, banks and family offices are dominant. D’Avenia also stresses that the market is very different in terms of the type of assets that arouse interest, offering an example. “Here European equities are not so relevant; instead we are looking for a more global exposure,” he says.

Looking to the future, D’Avenia says his intention is to continue growing the AllianzGI brand in the US offshore market. But he is cautious when it comes to commenting on buying other firms. Currently, the market is experiencing a concentration trend as a result of greater margin pressure – but D’Avenia insists that the firm’s goal is to grow organically in LatAm.

At the same time, acquisitions might not out of the question. "Selectively buying has been an option in the recent past,” D’Avenia says. “In 2016, we acquired global fixed income investor Rogge Global Partners. The key is successful integration with our brand. It has served to complement and strengthen our offering in global fixed income as well as enhancing our distribution potential, maintaining our investment team and processes.”


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