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Fund management: the importance of specialising in institutional clients

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Wealth management for institutional clients requires specialisation in order to deal with the tumultuous regulatory environment, as well as all new trends, challenges and opportunities, according to Eurobank Cyprus’ Menelaos Poullis, who has expert knowledge in this field.

Eurobank Cyprus, operating a specialised unit in the Wealth Management department, provides personalized services to institutional clients and manages a wide range of clientele, ranging from provident funds, pension funds, and insurance companies, to foundations, as well as state-owned or partially state-owned organisations.

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Menelaos Poullis

According to Poullis, these organisations and bodies have their own goals, needs and modus operandi, and are subject to restrictions on what they can and cannot do.

It is for this very reason that specialisation in fund management in this special category of clients is crucial.

“The majority of institutional clients have internal operating procedures, external fund management consultants, internal investment committees, and so on, but the need for technocratic, specialized knowledge, as well as guidance on the most effective and efficient way to make every move that this client wants, still exists,” Poullis said.

“In addition, the contribution of experts in the field and in terms of providing consulting services to institutional clients, through the know-how of the bank’s executives, is important,” he added.

Moreover, he explained that recent developments, whether they concern the pandemic and geostrategic upheavals at a global level, or changes in specific legislation at a local level, have shaped a series of challenges and trends for different groups of institutional clients.

“The big challenge all this time had to do with finding appropriate, efficient products, which at the same time fit the investment profile and the needs of each institutional client,” he stated.

“This search was not limited to traditional solutions, such as bonds and stocks, but instead turned to the category of alternative investments, such as metals and other types of exchange-traded commodities, real estate funds, absolute return funds and more generally to a wide range beyond the classic investments, in terms of institutional clients,” he added.

What is more, Poullis noted that as far as insurance companies are concerned, the objectives for environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) in the offered products are a challenge, while at the level of provident funds, the biggest challenge has to do with the full compliance and implementation of the provisions of the new relevant legislation of 2020.

“The specialisation of Eurobank Cyprus’ department in this field, as well as the open architecture of the department, are key comparative advantages for the bank,” Poullis said. “The primary concern regarding the guidance of institutional clients is to understand the needs, goals and nature of each client, as well as the legislation governing its operation, so as to provide the most appropriate solutions on a case-by-case basis,” he added, highlighting the bank’s customer-centric approach.

At the same time, Poullis touched on the bank’s wealth management department, noting that it is distinguished for its open architecture, which allows it to build partnerships and relationships with large firms internationally, without preliminary exclusions.

Further to the above, through the bank’s activities in recent years, Eurobank Cyprus has managed to establish a strong network of collaborators, of global scope, through which the firms make their products available to the bank, after the necessary grading and evaluation of suitability in relation to the needs of the customers.

“The network of partners in the context of the open architecture consists of large international custody, banks, Investments Funds Houses, trading platforms and more. It is precisely this structure that allows the provision of reliable solutions for each customer,” Poullis said.

“The strong and reliable network of partnerships at the international level also bolsters the sense of security of institutional customers especially when it comes to custody services,” he added.

“All assets at this level are held off the bank’s balance sheet, in reliable, highly-rated custodians, which guarantees that they remain unaffected in the ownership of each respective institutional client,” he concluded.

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