Money managers under the microscope
That’s all folks
The mood at this year’s Fund Forum, if not exactly upbeat, has been less sombre than last year’s introspective summit, with a few more cocktail parties around the stands, but asset managers remain on the whole subdued.
The continuing market volatility has a lot to answer for, with renewed worries about a double-dip recession overshadowing events. But if nothing else, the recession has forced exhibitors in the Forum’s trade hall to be a bit more imaginative in their freebies this year.
Service provider Bowne had some intriguing foldaway brushes and brightly coloured baggage tags that attracted many a delegate whilst the return of an ice cream cabinet went down a storm in the oppressive heat.
Older asset managers may remember the notorious Rome Fund Forum where the arrival of the ice cream cart once a day would trigger a mobbing round the stand from rival exhibitors melting in the non air-conditioned trade hall. Thankfully the Grimaldi is somewhat better equipped.
The entertainment on offer has also strayed beyond the norm, from fund industry band The Derivatives performing at Kneip’s opening White Night party, to the giant Japanese zither-type instrument that serenaded delegates on Wednesday evening.
But for asset managers hoping the recovery would strengthen from here, the return of the tiny side plates for the buffet lunches for a second year was a worrying portent.
Perhaps there is a shortage of full-size dinner plates in Monaco, or maybe the Grimaldi Forum is just concerned about fund managers’ waistlines. Either way, it necessitated tiresome repeat visits to the food tables for hungry delegates.