GLOBAL - The move towards active asset management should ultimately survive the current economic crisis, says a prominent Austrian pension fund manager.
Austrian Pensionskasse VBV's CIO Günther Schiendl sees a general trend towards active management although it might suffer over the short-term.
"This year the empirical evidence will speak against active diversification, especially in the fixed-income sector as any activity will always have led investors away from government bonds, which were the best performers during the crisis," Schiendl told IPE.
"But once the dust has settled again investors will go back to active mandates, especially in the equity sector."
Also among asset managers there is no fear about the steady increase of products like ETFs, exchange-traded funds.
"ETFs are no competition but a reaction to developments in the industry towards a stronger separation of alpha and beta," said Uwe Fuiten, investment management head at German WestLB Mellon Asset Management.
He is convinced that in future there will be less core management and as "the wheat separates from the chaff the alpha producers will survive".
"The more assets under managements a house has the more it will tend towards passive management," he noted.
Fuiten added in the field of ETFs bigger funds were safer funds.
Simon Klein from Deutsche Bank also sees more of a co-existence of ETFs and active management rather than a competition.
"Many active managers are using ETFs in the tactical allocation because they do not want to build expertise in certain markets," he explained.
He sees the future of ETFs as main building block of a good core-satellite strategy.
However, he notes the credit crisis also led to pressure on companies offering ETFs.
"Several months ago nobody was interested in what an ETF contains but now we get asked," he pointed out.
For Fuiten "consistency and transparency" are the two most important keywords deriving from this crisis.