Scrutiny over the investment industry to increase following COVID-19

Thursday 2 April 2020

CFA UK Insights

Author: Joanne Frearson

“The way we behave to the broaden benefit of society is going to be under more scrutiny than it has ever been,” says Richard Dunbar, CFA, ASIP, Head of Economic and Thematic Research at Aberdeen Standard Investments.

He thinks going forward this will mean there will be more thoughtful ownership of what fund managers are invested in. There will be a focus towards sectors, which care for the environment and climate.

The coronavirus has left the global economy with a very unclear outlook. Dunbar explains while central banks and governments have been doing everything to try and alleviate the problems, the short-term implications for the global economy are extremely uncertain. 

“The screeching of the global economic breaks is unprecedented,” says Dunbar. “Clients are obviously feeling the pain of that, but they are looking to check we are doing what we said we would do and behave in a way they expect us to behave.”

For the global economy he sees an acceleration of trends that were already in place before the pandemic began like the imbalances in the global economy and the weakening of globalisation. There will also be a move towards ESG. 

To ensure his staff, are adequately trained to deal with client expectations, Dunbar spends a lot of time keeping in touch with his team especially the young graduates within it, so they don’t miss out on the subtle things that would of taken place in the office. 

He says: “The casual conversations, the over hearing of telephone conversations, the discussions between senior fund managers, that is what young people learn from as well as the formal training.” 

This article was recorded on Tuesday 30th March over Zoom. 


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