Avida Blog

Can only financial market professionals design a crisis management plan for finance businesses?


I have experienced numerous crises in the global environment during my career. These
have included LTCM, the bursting of the dotcom bubble and of course the global financial
crisis. But the one I recall most vividly was Black Monday, not because I was caught in the
middle of the event, but because having been verbally offered my first financial industry role
a month earlier I realised my career might be over before it had even begun!

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If we could choose our business growth model which route would we go down - to develop organically or by acquisition?


Businesses are established in response to a perceived client need. Growth occurs
initially when more clients also identify with this need, or a similar one that can be met
with the same product or capability. Organisations either respond to this rising demand
as it emerges or anticipate it putting resources in place pre-emptively. This all sounds
very organic, suggesting this should be the normal path of the business growth model.

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How can my organisation make a useful contribution to clients, disappointed when invested in markets that underperform?


One of the most positive developments in institutional investing over the past two
decades has been the focus on risk budgeting. This trend has resulted in, amongst other
things, an increasingly forensic focus on mandate requirements to ensure, for example,
minimum or zero overlap between different client portfolios. This has had the advantage
of bringing ever greater clarity to both the client expected outcome and understanding of
the instruction to the service supplier.

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Do our customers assume that as financial professionals we know precisely how to respond to a crisis?


What do our customers expect from us? We can recite a list of attributes that could apply both to us
as individuals and to our organisations; integrity, astuteness, professionalism and maybe even
intelligence! But it is undoubtedly true to say that first and foremost clients expect we will do what
we said we would do – to deliver on the terms of a mandate, the contract between us.

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Can we apply lessons learned from other industries to financial markets and economic growth considerations?


Sometimes its hard to get your head around how far we’ve travelled. Our people occupy bright, air-conditioned offices (for the most part), sit at carefully designed workstations (desks in my day) and
are surrounded by constantly updatable technology. In fact, such is the power of mobile
communication it can be argued that much of today's commuting is unnecessary as home office
working is very achievable. The IT sector has given us a lot.

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The impact of significant change at a service supplier on the customer experience


Star manager or Team-based culture? Asset managers often obsess about how they wish the world to view them. This is understandable given, that like any business, they rely for their success on building and maintaining a strong brand in the minds of their customers. And frequently the strength of this brand is assumed to rest significantly on the perceived importance of fund management professionals.

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The responsibility for a business' crisis management procedure is the responsibility of its board


In our industry lots of people travel and many of these fly (considerably more than they should – a
topic to come back to in a later blog).

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What are the early signs of a strained client relationship?


Almost thirty years on I remember like it was yesterday the moment I secured my first fee paying customer. It felt almost like a vindication of me personally, never mind being a vote of confidence in the organisation I represented. And of course, my recollection is that I never doubted during the process there would be this positive outcome.

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Products incubated in the home market are the key to growing in international markets


We are in the risk business. As service providers we continually examine whether we are taking
appropriate levels of risk to secure the outcomes promised to clients or indeed in some cases if we
are taking any at all where we may be mandated not to do so.

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