Asset managers were considered to be the best online event organisers
Financial intermediaries in Spain are the most positive about online events and their benefits, of all the markets recently surveyed by Fundamental Media. While saving on commuting time was the main advantage mentioned, the possibility to access recorded events ranked higher for Spanish respondents than for their European peers.
Half of the Spanish advisers have simply switched to the online version of the events that they were already attending before the pandemic, while 38% of the advisers are still not attending any events or have reduced their participation, the highest percentage in the markets surveyed. Most discretionary portfolio managers and fund selectors (DPM-FS) switched to the online version of the events they usually attend as well, although a third has decreased attendance all together.
Most intermediaries felt that the best online conferences were organised by asset managers and had a line-up of prominent speakers presenting interesting ideas and insights about several themes, such as fund management, market views and the pandemic. Poor content and technical issues were the main dislikes associated with poorly hosted online conferences.
From December 2020 to March 2021, Fundamental Media surveyed 768 financial intermediaries in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom to better understand their choices, with a focus on the implications of the Covid-19 crisis on asset allocation, working habits, access to media and their preferred sources of information.
Growth expected for global equities, emerging market equities and ESG
Similar to sentiments seen in the other markets surveyed, Spanish financial intermediaries expect to increase their clients’ exposure to global equities and emerging market equities and to decrease exposure to fixed income and real estate. They are anticipating sharp increases of ESG and active management and are the most likely out of all markets surveyed to decrease their exposure to domestic equities.
The number of financial intermediaries using ESG funds has increased since 2018, but together with the UK, Spain remains the market with the lowest current use of ESG of all the markets surveyed, at 60%. This is particularly the case for DPM-FS, while Spanish advisers are more in tune with their European peers. However, intermediaries in Spain and Italy are the most likely to increase future exposure to ESG. Spanish intermediaries’ perception of ESG is the least positive of all markets surveyed, as the majority does not agree with favourable statements about ESG, particularly when asked if the ESG information and support provided by asset managers is sufficient. Client interest is also not considered to be as high as in other markets.
In line with the other European countries surveyed, most Spanish financial intermediaries feel that their use of desktop and mobile has increased while their use of print has decreased. Compared to their peers, Spanish respondents are the most likely to have increased their use of mobile and radio, and to have decreased their use of print and TV.
Half of the advisers receive print publications at the office and almost a quarter receive them at home. Those who have kept working from the office during the pandemic are reading more print publications in general, not only at their office but also more at home compared to their peers who have worked mainly from home. Among DPM-FS, the majority receives print publications at the office, but almost a third do not read print publications at all which is in line with most other markets surveyed, except Germany.
On average, the professional use of social media has increased in Spain compared to 2018, with WhatsApp and LinkedIn being the most used platforms. Among advisers, social media are mainly accessed via mobile devices and mostly used for networking with peers and interacting in groups. Among DPM-FS, social media are mostly used for networking and reading/watching industry news, but they are also actively publishing and sharing content themselves.
The access to media via mobile devices is the highest among the markets surveyed and is on the rise on both phone and tablets. The readership of print publications is among the lowest among the markets surveyed, with only one title reaching more than 30% of intermediaries. While social media are among the leading channels accessed via mobile, many newspapers have also increased their reach via these channels with many now being accessed on mobile devices more than in print and as much as on desktop. When comparing media reading habits between DPM-FS and advisers in Spain, global news sources as well as more specialised publications are much more popular among DPM-FS.
Other findings from the Spanish intermediary research include:
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