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Is it now better to work for a big, rather than boutique, fund manager in the Nordics?

Mattias Hagen is a powerful man in the Nordic wealth management sector. As head of manager research at SEB Wealth Management, he has the final say on which asset managers the bank selects to run its €15bn (SEK134bn) in assets.

In a (very long) interview with Citywire today, he points out that a boutique fund manager could soon be a shaky place to work.

Boutiques aren’t bogged down by the bureaucracy seen in the larger players, they’re more focused, the level of service is generally higher and they’re seen as entrepreneurial. What’s more, it’s often possible to earn more, since your contribution is more closely aligned with the success of the company.

Nonetheless, Hagen is predicting that fewer small firms will exist in the future: ‘I believe we are facing a consolidation of the asset management industry, both in terms of producers and distributors,” he said.

“This will mean a concentration of managers where the smaller ones get hoovered up by a lesser number of large and medium-sized asset managers. This may, in the end, lead to a lack of diversity and also diminish the variety of sources for strong alpha.”

On a more positive note, he also believes that Nordic fund managers are generally easier to deal with, particularly when compared with those in the US.

“If you meet a Scandinavian manager, often they are very open and it’s easy to get down to the point compared with a US manager. It is much harder to get under the skin of a US manager than a European or Nordic manager,” he said.

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