Only 20 per cent of respondents to a new survey of 70 asset managers around the world had cut staff, or expected to cut as a result of the financial crisis.

FS Associates, a counselor to money management firms with a specialty in advising on crossborder strategic alliances, distributed the survey in the first week of November – with half the recipients based in the US – yet it found the respondents surprisingly optimistic.

Headline results of the survey were as follows –

• Over three-quarters of the respondents believed that they’d emerge from the
market turmoil in a better competitive position than before.
• Only 20 per cent of respondents have cut staff, or expect to cut. A quarter of firms plan
to add staff, with that proportion even higher for US-based firms.
• Not a single firm sees fear and concern among employees at a level that distracts
from normal working practices, although 20 per cent did acknowledge some concerns
among staff members.
• Approximately half of respondents still see client inflows running ahead of
outflows; less than 20 per cent report client inflow drying up completely.

• Firms report that clients are primarily seeking more communication from their
managers; less than 5 per cent of responding firms indicated that the primary response of
their clients was hostility or closing their accounts.
• Few respondents are changing their way of how they running their business;
they are neither making any alterations to their investment processes nor how they
are structuring or pricing their services.

A partner at Australian funds management third-party marketing firm Ambassador Funds Management Services, Peter Tiffin, said it intended to use FS Associates to help it identify and monitor managers in asset classes it believed would be appealing to the Australian marketplace.

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