Fees for money managers are “set to be squeezed even further in 2021,” according to a recent Bloomberg article.
A survey from Brown Brothers Harriman involving over 50 executives overseeing $18 trillion found that more than half of asset managers plan to reduce charges in 2021, the article says, adding that a Morningstar report stated average fees in Europe have already hit a record low due to the increased competition from less expensive passive products.
The article quote Shawn McNinch, managing director of investor services and head of U.S. sales at Brown Brothers: “Managers need to reflect and take a hard look at themselves. The challenge for mid-sized managers is to really focus on where they’re different and where they can add value.”
Even passive investing giant Vanguard Group Inc. is “feeling the toll of such a price war,” the article says, noting that net flows to its funds have slowed in 2020 “as rivals roll out similar products, and the company has retreated in recent months from some of its global expansion plans.”
The Brown Brothers survey also revealed that more than a third of participants intend to explore starting less costly passive or exchange-traded funds in an effort to regain some of the money being pulled from active management. McNinch noted, “People are looking at ETFs differently than they were five years ago. Now managers are really embracing ETFs as a structure itself, because they can create active products within those.”