The World Is Going Passive. Is It a Mistake?

Man Group’s 2016 Unconventional Views video series is designed to present original thoughts and insights that challenge the consensus view. The videos feature leading executives from the firm’s four investment engines, Man AHL, Man GLG, Man FRM and Man Numeric, explaining their views on various investment themes.

In recent years there has been a seismic shift within the asset management industry from active to passive investing. In this video, Ben Funnell, Portfolio Manager at Man GLG, considers this shift and explains why he thinks the growing alpha opportunity in the market is tipping the balance back in favor of active management. He outlines several structural and cyclical reasons to support his argument that today’s investors should take a second look at active management:

  1. Fund alpha is more important later in a market cycle, and this alpha is vital for many institutional investors with real growth hurdles and obligations to distribute.
  2. The stock-picker’s opportunity set is increasing along with the percentage of stock-specific return, which may represent a structural change.
  3. Smart beta may not be so smart, especially since allocating away from active managers still requires active decision-making.

Past performance is not indicative of future results. The value of an investment and any income derived from it can go down as well as up and investors may not get back their original amount invested. Opinions expressed are those of the author, may not be shared by all personnel of Man Group plc (‘Man’) and are subject to change without notice.

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