Q1. What would asset managers need most as incentives from a new economic thinking to become more successful in Romania?
The key word for the universal language of business is predictability. And this is even more so in our activity, as asset managers of the household savings and corporate liquidities. So, what we need most now is to know about Romania's masterplan(s) for the end of this decade. We already witnessed a lost decade and our investors and stakeholders, at large, would not like to see a remake. Therefore, I think Romanian business and political elites should embark on a new major challenge, pooling our positive energies together to have Romania become by end 2015 a fully-fledged member of OECD. In a nutshell, this should provide for sound public policies, credibility and, the magic word, predictability.
Q2. What’s the biggest advantage for an asset manager attempting to do business in Romania? What about the biggest deterrent?
The biggest advantage is also the biggest deterrent, in the sense of the lack of a savings culture, at large and investment culture, at full. This has to do with the major political and social changes faced in the last decades by current generations of Romanian income generators and it requires a constant and sustained focus on financial education to make things happen. We have embarked full-heartedly on this endeavor and enjoy the first results: more than 1,000 children enrolled in the Tenis 10 tournaments country-wise have become our investors in balanced and equity funds in less than three years! We have now the youngest investors base for long-term investments in the whole industry and their reaction and their parents reaction is motivating us to continue the good work. These children received along with fund units as prizes also biography books of great tennis players (Andre Agassi and Rafael Nadal), while their parents took home for reading, the titles from our new investment books collection. All our young and adult readers are now eagerly expecting the new titles in both series, which we let know via our monthly e-newsletter to more than 11,000 subscribers. Moving forward, all the time.
Q3. What do you make of the establishment of a sole financial supervision authority that shall monitor the insurance, capital market and pension funds altogether? Is it going to help your business, and, most importantly, is it going to help the society and economy?
We definitely support this initiative, in line with European trends in regulatory and supervisory developments. It remains to be seen if this major change will mean a better dialogue with the market forces, via their professional bodies with the aim of securing a fast and effective introduction into the Romanian landscape of the massive set of regulatory changes originated at pan-European level. We are expecting more consistency in the way the new authority will deal with local market priorities, including cost reductions (both time and money). We also hope that this opportunity to invest in the human capital existing in the market at large, will be wisely exploited to the befit of our final and most interested stakeholder, the investor.