05 October, 2015

Regulate to accumulate: 9 out 10 professionals say crackdown on unregulated schemes

Regulate to accumulate: 9 out 10 professionals say crackdown on unregulated schemes

· Buy global equities, sell real estate: strategies for a $45 oil price

· Fund supermarkets and better pricing should make funds more popular with advisers' clients

05 October 2015
· Buy global equities, sell real estate: strategies for a $45 oil price

· Fund supermarkets and better pricing should make funds more popular with advisers' clients

The sixth annual Middle Eastern Investment Panorama (MEIP), issued today by market intelligence company Insight Discovery, reports that 87% of financial advisers interviewed think regulators should be doing more monitor and close down unregulated schemes and products. Another key finding is that 56% of the region's advisers anticipate lifting clients' allocations to global developed markets equities in the next 12 months. Nearly as many - 48% - will increase allocations to emerging markets equities. The advisers also commented on what could help make mutual funds more popular, such as fund supermarkets and making fund pricing more attractive

Nigel Sillitoe, CEO of Insight Discovery, commented: 'this comprehensive survey of financial advisers in the GCC countries has found that the advisers are looking through the challenges of these interesting times - such as falling energy prices, the slowing global economy, geopolitical tensions and near-zero interest rates. They recognise that their clients continue to need a high exposure to global equities and emerging markets.'

'No fewer than 26 financial services companies are part of this project, which proves how important the Middle East is becoming as a financial destination for both asset management and life companies.  Besides attracting companies like Zurich, Morningstar and Pioneer Investments we are delighted that both the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and Clyde & Co have contributed articles on topics important to the industry.'

Other key findings:

·      A majority of advisers (59%) see the evolving regulatory environment as a challenge

·      Views on the disclosure of commissions, though, vary very widely.

·      Asset management companies and international life companies who want to do business with the advisers need to have an on-the-ground (but not necessarily permanent) presence in the region and to be able to interact with the advisers in several ways.

·      Advisers do not yet understand social media, but understand that it is important and want to know more about how to use it to generate new business.,

·      Over 80% of advisers agree with each of two propositions: costs matter a lot (with the result that ETFs and other low-cost solutions are becoming more popular); and there is a move from single asset class funds towards multi-asset class funds.

·      The offerings of asset management companies and international life companies are each used by about 85% and 77% of the advisers respectively.

·      The best rated asset management companies included Fidelity, Schroders, Invesco, Franklin Templeton, JP Morgan and Emirates NBD

·      Independent fund ratings matter to 88% of advisers. Most advisers use the ratings of more than one research company. Morningstar is the first or second choice of 86% of advisers.

·      Open Architecture (the usage of the offerings of a variety of asset management companies) continues to flourish. Nearly half of advisers mainly access funds directly through platforms that are operated by international life companies.

Walter Jopp, Head of Market Management at Zurich Global MEA said: 'It is encouraging to see that the latest Middle East Investment Panorama affirms our position as a leading insurer in the region, as recognised by our customers and distribution partners. We remain committed to building on our expertise; knowledge and stability to ensure we bring truly customer centric solutions and services that help our customers protect their financial futures. As the only company to publish claims data specific to the Middle East, we understand the importance of helping our customers when it matters most.'  

Neal Jenkins of Pioneer Investments noted that:'Insight Discovery's flagship Middle East Investment Panorama confirms that advisers across the GCC region remain enthusiastic users of funds - and in spite of frequently challenging conditions in global financial markets. This report shows why the UAE and the other GCC countries represent good opportunities for global asset managers'

Reza Yazdi of Morningstar observed:'The Middle East Investment Panorama published by Insight Discovery shows that the GCC region remains a dynamic and sophisticated market for funds, and a market where Open Architecture is alive and well. We are pleased that we can serve so many of the region's advisers as a trusted and independent source of research and information on funds.'

-Ends -

About Insight Discovery
Insight Discovery is a market intelligence company which specialises in stakeholder engagement and leadership insights. Clients are mainly from the financial services sector and include regional banks, asset management companies, insurance companies and private equity companies. For more information, please visit

About Morningstar
Morningstar, Inc. is a leading provider of independent investment research in North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. The company offers an extensive line of products and services for individual investors, financial advisors, asset managers, and retirement plan providers and sponsors. Morningstar provides data on more than 500,000 investment offerings, including stocks, mutual funds, and similar vehicles, along with real-time global market data on more than 16 million equities, indexes, futures, options, commodities, and precious metals, in addition to foreign exchange and Treasury markets. Morningstar also offers investment management services through its investment advisory subsidiaries, with more than $180 billion in assets under advisement and management as of June 30, 2015. The company has operations in 27 countries.

About Pioneer Investments
At Pioneer Investments, we are committed to delivering an excellent level of service and offering competitive, high quality investment products that we believe can stand the test of time.

We are focused on managing risk and aim to deliver attractive returns to our investors, who have entrusted us with $245 billion (as at end August 2015) of their assets. We are present in 28 countries with over 2,090 people. Our passionate and knowledgeable team includes more than 360 investment professionals. Thanks to our extensive network of local investment and marketing offices around the world, we stay closely connected to the communities in which we operate. Our objective is to offer concrete investment solutions that satisfy real investments needs. To ensure an innovative and consistent product strategy at global level, we have three specialised Global Investment Hubs in Boston, London and Dublin.

About Zurich
Zurich is one of the world's largest insurance groups. Our mission is to help our customers understand and protect themselves from risk. With over 55,000 employees serving customers in more than 170 countries, we aspire to become the best global insurer as measured by our customers, employees and shareholders.

For more information, please contact:
Nigel Sillitoe
Insight Discovery
+97155 8809676
O +971 4 5561495


© Press Release 2015