It has been an interesting few years, according to John Carroll
, head of U.S. retail distribution at Allianz Global Investors
For nearly two years, Allianz has been reorganizing its asset management arm, breaking down the walls between its different boutiques and unifying their sales efforts under a single brand.
"It's been a lot of fun redefining ourselves and reintroducing ourselves to the marketplace. The global integration project has been a big deal. It has been fascinating to watch. It allowed us to break down artificial barriers around the firm," Carroll recently told MFWire
Moreover, he said, "We have the global capital that we can now bring into the U.S. Now we can reach anywhere in the world. We have these investment managers in 19 different countries, including a number solid teams with an expertise in the usage of risk, that we can deliver to the global market."
The result? A single brand of funds that wholesalers can focus on while talking to prospects. The different boutiques still maintain their own management cultures and investing styles, but their products are sold as different funds under a single name.
, head of advisory sales explained the advantages in this way:
The reorganization has helped us focus our sales efforts. I think when you are in a multiple boutique situation and you are trying to distribute all of those brands, it can be challenging. Usually in a multi-boutique situation, one boutique might ask you "Why aren't you focusing on our solution over someone else's?" This way there is a little more clarity to the story.
Carroll explained the advantages in this way:
The reorganization has truly brought the walls down, there are no separations between the different groups, no differentiation. There is no infighting.
Carroll says that the reorganization included the development of centers of excellence for different investing styles in each city where Allianz has an office.
"We are trying to concentrate where each place does well," he said.
For example, Allianz has a multi-asset team based in two locations, Frankfurt and New York.
Because of the focus, Allianz was recently able to win a mandate with Prudential to provide their multi-asset investing strategy via a new set of asset allocation portfolios.
This win, Carroll says, would not have been possible before the reorganization.
"I don't know if we would have been able to do this in the past. There were too many barriers, probably not enough incentive to make this happen."
Don't expect an explosion of new products from Allianz right out of the gate though. Carroll says that with the reorganization, Allianz also conducted a rationalization and streamlining of its product line.
"We've reduced our number of products and going forward we will be adding very selectively as we find new good opportunities," says Carroll.
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