We have celebrated ten years of the InFormation Courses with… an intense three-day conference, one day more than usual! A little celebration for the “ten years spent together”, ready to try to understand the future, “towards new horizons”. This is what we were asked, not only by institutional investors (attending in record numbers, 60, as usual accompanied by the representatives of Supervisory Authorities and Trade Associations), but also by asset managers. Even if they have made some progress in this ten-year period, asset managers still struggle to leave behind a product-based logic and move to a client-based one, often necessarily mediated by the Advisor.
The long term can be considered the true connecting thread of our 10th Course. The awareness of the need to make use of the “patient capital” is by now widespread among lawmakers, EU and Italian, but it is increasingly so among investors, who struggle, however, to articulate it and turn good intentions into action. Of course, the offer of financial services and instruments must be more focused on longer time horizons and wider underlying asset categories, but it is not enough! What we need is an informed and aware demand, ready to take on the responsibilities pertaining to institutional investors focused on the long term, without hiding behind the “Yes, but…” of those who just look for a quiet life.
In this sense, we believe the role of the Advisor is crucial: this will be less and less “guru” and “report factory” and will provide technical, specialised support to the Bodies and Functions of the investors in charge of strategic, implementation and control choices. We discussed this during the opening day, which was set aside for the first time for the direct dialogue between Prometeia Advisor and institutional investors alone. We discussed as usual the macroeconomic and financial scenario, with a focus on the long term, and added the necessary observations on how to review the asset allocation and on the impacts of regulatory innovation, including the impact of the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD), which is about to be implemented in Italy.
We have, however, also discussed the “rules” that increasingly characterise the European investment advisory market, to the advantage of the investor. The review of MiFID, accompanied in Italy by the start of supervision on independent consultants, will bring about at last the much anticipated “levelling of the playing fields”.
On the first day, we also held the usual three “parallel sessions” (for Bank Foundations, Social Security Funds, and Pension Funds), much appreciated discussions in closed session between the three categories of investors and the representatives of the respective Supervisory Authorities and Trade Associations on topics proposed by Prometeia Advisor.
The next two days saw the participation of representatives of the financial sector. We thank them for giving as usual an essential contribution to the execution of our Course. Many issues were discussed: the objective was to stimulate the curiosity and elicit questions from the large audience and encourage the analysis that must necessarily precede the investment selection. This special issue of Anteo is meant to offer the same opportunity, in summary form, to those who were not able to attend the conference.