Economic policies and financial markets: the known unknown factors

“Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth” the Scottish writer Arthur Conan Doyle used to write (1859 – 1930).

We have used a play on words and the fine line between the known and the unknown, in the title of this Path: “Economic policies and financial markets: the known unknown factors”. We discussed this with the investors and the representatives of the financial industry taking part in the two days of intensive work in Edinburgh. The abstracts of the various speeches are available in the special issue of ANTEO.

The speeches offered much food for thought on the opportunities and risks of this market context, still submerged in the superabundant liquidity injected into the system by the Central Banks. It was not easy for the managers treading the Scottish stage to handle the unknown factors. We are therefore doubly grateful for their interpretative contribution and for their vital support in the accomplishment of our Path, that is ever-challenging given the significant increase, year after year, in institutional investors placing their trust in Prometeia Advisor.

Once again this year, investors and managers had the possibility to interact in the plenary sessions and in the round tables alike, whereas the historical “parallel sessions” provided an opportunity for discussion across the specific teams of Prometeia Advisor and the sole representatives of foundations, pension funds, welfare funds and, for the first time, also health and welfare funds (by now no longer a marginal presence among the investors we support).

Another new element, aside from this fourth “parallel” session was Saturday's afternoon work session, dedicated to a more specific debate across industry, consultants and investors on the topic of trends in the last year for the selection of managers and financial instruments.

The 13th edition of the Paths in 2017 defies superstition: even we at Prometeia Advisor are ready to accept the numerous challenges posed on a daily basis by the markets and the competitive context in which we operate!

We are on the eve of the entry into force of the MiFID II Directive (from 1 January 2018, hopefully also in Italy) and at a crucial time of review of asset allocations and investment processes by increasingly mature, demanding and cost-conscious customers. 

The challenge for Prometeia Advisor, that next year will be celebrating its two decades in operation, remains to innovate and broaden the range and quality of the services offered to the investors with whom we work alongside day in day out.

It is far from easy in an arena in which the “playing field is still not level”, after ten years from the entry into force in Italy of the MiFID I! We compete with multinational giants, but also with individuals, managers in turn “disguised” as consultants, companies that prefer the “light touch” of a number of foreign regulators to the undoubtedly more severe one of Banca d’Italia and CONSOB (for supervised bodies, however, fully safeguarding the safety of their customers).

Challenges do not pose a threat to us, but rather spur us on to greater endeavour, also thanks to the support of the Prometeia Group, ever expanding with its methodological and technological expertise, and with an increasingly relevant presence at global level.