Asset management: Moreau’s arrival underscores need for action at HSBC GAM
Former DWS head could shake up captive fund model after Flint’s exit.
Nicolas Moreau’s arrival as chief executive of HSBC Global Asset Management (GAM) comes just days after Europe’s biggest bank removed its group chief executive, John Flint.
It is further evidence that chairman Mark Tucker wants outsiders to bring more radical change to HSBC: in this case the former head of Deutsche Bank’s asset manager DWS.
Despite previously running HSBC’s asset management division, Flint failed to tackle its problems decisively, even as group CEO.
The division is an irritation for HSBC, as it is at many other banks. While, in theory, it offers relatively high returns due to its low consumption of capital, in practice regulation and technology are a big challenge.
Bank-owned asset managers with between €500 billion and €1 trillion under management are particularly problematic. They are a squeezed middle: above niche players and highly profitable pure captive managers, but below the much larger and mostly American diversified asset managers that have better economies of scale.
BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank, UBS and probably HSBC occupy this middle zone.