Fundamental Media Insights


Research insights

Spanish intermediaries prefer foreign asset managers for most asset classes and management styles

Companies perceived as broad are among the favourites, followed by those seen as energetic, analytical, qualitative and a partner

Key points:

  • Spanish investment professionals appreciate prestige, experience and product expertise
  • Spanish financial intermediaries are slightly more likely to buy a fund from a manager they perceive as broad and energetic as opposed to targeted and careful thinking
  • The correlation between brand values and propensity to buy is weaker in Spain compared to the other markets surveyed and the perception of asset managers is highly subjective

Spanish investment professionals are slightly more likely to buy a fund from a manager they perceive as broad and energetic as opposed to targeted and careful thinking, but overall Spanish intermediaries did not show a strong preference for any of the brand values, according to research by Fundamental IQ, the research arm of Fundamental Media.

For the Global Brand Survey, Fundamental Media surveyed 768 financial intermediaries in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom during the first half of 2021. To understand their perception of asset managers’ brands, we apply our ‘brand equity index’ which was developed in 2016 using a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods along five pillars: brand recall, familiarity, perceived quality, propensity to buy and distinctiveness.

The ‘propensity to buy’ score assesses the likelihood to increase the use of funds provided by that particular asset manager. When correlating this score with those from the other four brand factors, we see that Spanish investment professionals’ view on a manager’s ability to generate returns is the main consideration when buying a fund, as ‘perceived quality’ has the strongest correlation to ‘propensity to buy’. This is in line with the findings in the other markets surveyed. The ‘perceived quality’ is the views of respondents regarding the ability of an asset manager to generate above-average returns. This can be influenced by coordinated sales, marketing and branding activity.

Spain 2021 perceived quality vs propensity to buy

Note: The dots show the positioning of the 30 prompted companies across the two brand factors.

Brand recall is the second-most correlated factor to propensity to buy in the Spanish market, but the correlation is not as strong as in the other markets.

Investment professionals were asked to mention which asset management companies they associate with fifteen different asset classes and management styles. Among a total of 2166 mentions, foreign asset managers were the most often recalled for most asset classes and management styles, including for those asset classes that intermediaries expect to increase their exposure to (global, European and emerging market equities). A few local managers were most often mentioned in Spanish equities, multi-asset, passive management and smart beta, as well as in ESG and active management, two management styles that are expected to see an increase in allocations.

An analysis of both prompted and unprompted brand values shows that the correlation between brand values and propensity to buy is weaker in Spain compared to the other markets surveyed and the perception of asset managers is highly subjective. However, when looking at the 14 prompted brand values, companies perceived as broad are among the favourites, followed by those seen as energetic/fast-paced, analytical, qualitative and a partner.

Spain 2021 brand values correlation

Respondents were asked to choose from opposing values, which were asked in pairs and as opposites (e.g. broad vs targeted; qualitative vs quantitative). A positive correlation with one value is therefore automatically a negative correlation with the opposite value.

Qualitative comments highlighted Spanish intermediaries appreciate prestige, experience and product expertise. Communication and engagement, especially with advisers, is essential to build solid relationships as many praise companies whose sales representatives are friendly and present, and those engaging via events and informative emails. On the other hand, poor communication, including a lack of media presence and advertising, a lack of events and emails with product information were widely mentioned as the main downsides of some companies.

For asset managers the Spanish market continues to be one in which there is a great demand for messaging that showcases the manager’s specific investment experience and expertise to get positively influence propensity to buy.

Insights Research insights Spanish intermediaries prefer foreign asset managers for most asset classes and management styles