Willis Towers Watson has launched an institutional asset management marketplace designed to cut intermediary cost leakage out of the investment process.
Called The Asset Management Exchange (AMX), the marketplace consists of a centralised back office and standardised fund infrastructure designed to enable asset buyers access the market without the need for repeated legal and other advisory costs for each transaction. WTW claims the service will deliver scale benefits to both sides of the market while increasing transparency and asset owner control.
AMX will launch first in the UK, initially focusing on providing simpler access to hedge fund strategies, with additional asset classes following later in the year. WTW has seeded the exchange with £600m of capital from clients of its investment business, but expects the offering will appeal to a broader range of its clients.
Willis Towers Watson CEO John Haley says: “In the last 20 years, our lives have been transformed by innovation. Technology is breaking down barriers and challenging the inefficiencies which have burdened many industries for far too long. The resulting marketplaces tend to be fairer, quicker and more transparent. They give buyers better choice and control and open up new customers for sellers and can rapidly become global in nature. We recognise the power of this trend and are backing AMX to be a catalyst for change in institutional investment.”
AMX global head Oliver Jaegemann says: “From today, the digital revolution has come to institutional asset management and it will never be the same again. AMX will make investment smarter, easier and cheaper to implement and monitor, for both buyer and seller, and significantly improve investment outcomes for the end saver.
“We fundamentally believe that AMX is the smartest way to steward assets and Willis Towers Watson is already using the exchange for some of its delegated assets with more to follow soon.”
Willis Towers Watson global head of investment Chris Ford says: “We have long contended that intermediaries in the investment industry have taken too much out of the value chain to the detriment of the end saver. We believe AMX will change this by standardising and centralising the investment vehicles that managers and investors use thereby reducing overall costs and increasing marketplace transparency and competition. AMX will be our implementation solution of choice and we encourage asset owners and asset managers to use the exchange for the benefit of the end savers that we all represent.”