- In the United Kingdom retail direct-to-consumer (D2C) and D2C platform distribution is on the rise, and the rest of Europe will follow in the long term.
- There's a global trend toward robo-advice that should not go unnoticed. It started in the United States, with companies like Wealthfront gaining traction and it is spreading in Europe and also in Asia.
European distribution is entering a new era, but the pace of change differs considerably from one market to the next. In the United Kingdom the low-margin business of fund distribution is being standardized, innovative digital propositions are flourishing, and layers of distribution are being removed.
According to Cerulli’s European Distribution Dynamics 2015 report, more than 82% of the international asset managers expect the marketshare of direct-to-consumer and D2C platform distribution in the United Kingdom to grow over the next five years. 54% of them think that it will grow significantly.
But they seemed to be also optimistic about the outlook of these channels in the rest of the continent. Roughly half of asset managers think their marketshare will grow in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and Sweden. The rest expect theirs to stay roughly the same and only a tiny minority counts on its fall. Managers were less bullish about Switzerland, though. Only one-third of those surveyed anticipated that marketshare will "grow somewhat."
Angelos Gousios, associate director with Cerulli in London, and one of the main authors of European Distribution Dynamics 2015: Preparing for a New Era said, "Managers can benefit from the digital revolution in various ways: by renovating their proprietary D2C distribution facilities, by becoming a key partner of an 'online' distributor or taking a financial stake in one, or finally go it alone and try selling their funds directly to the general public themselves."
Barbara Wall, Europe research director at Cerulli added: "There's a global trend toward robo-advice that should not go unnoticed. It started in the United States, with companies like Wealthfront gaining traction and it is spreading in Europe -Nutmeg in the United Kingdom and MoneyFarm in Italy- and also in Asia, with 8 Securities in Hong Kong."