European Distribution Dynamics 2021

Reassessing Growth Opportunities

Analyze Demand. Assess Intermediaries.

  • Analyze the private banking and wealth management segments in Europe, with in-depth insight into how product demand is evolving
  • Review banks’ and independent wealth managers’ fund and manager selection practices, their current and expected demand for products and services, and their evolving approaches to ESG investing
  • Assess developments in the thematic mutual funds and ETF segment
  • Explore product development practices by asset managers and ETF issuers


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Report Retail Investor Advice 2020 Detail

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Ryan Hanratty

Ryan Hanratty

Account Manager


Evaluate mutual fund distribution across European markets: the U.K., France, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, Italy, and the cross-border segment. This report provides clarity on product development and expected product demand from various distribution channels, identifying opportunities and challenges for asset managers.

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A Note from the Author

COVID-19 Accelerates Conditions for Thematic Investing Across European Distribution Channels

Fabrizio Zumbo

Fabrizio Zumbo


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Fabrizio Zumbo

Fabrizio Zumbo


Fabrizio leads the European Retail/Wholesale Asset Management research practice, which focuses on analyzing asset management product development trends, investment, operational and marketing strategies, market and distribution dynamics, regulatory changes, and performing market and competitive intelligence in the United Kingdom, Continental Europe, and the Nordics.

Prior to joining Cerulli, Fabrizio served as a Lead Industry Analyst at State Street in London and as a Senior Analyst & Research Editor for the PwC’s Global Market Research Centre in Luxembourg. Previously, he carried out several field-based research projects in emerging and frontier markets for international market research and economic consulting firms, spending almost five years performing economic and industry analyses in several countries in Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East.

Full biography here.

The global pandemic forced businesses to change the way they operate, with several industries switching to remote working under lockdown. It also put a spotlight on themes such as sustainability, digitalization, and the need to address global challenges such as resource scarcity and demographic change. These issues have become key topics in the asset management industry in Europe, creating ideal circumstances for the sustained growth of thematic fund assets in the region.

Cerulli’s research shows that thematic mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) had a breakthrough year in 2020, experiencing rapid growth as COVID-19 acted as a catalyst for demand. By the end of last year, the assets of thematic mutual funds and ETFs domiciled in Europe had increased 90% year-on-year; active fund assets grew 82% and ETF assets 165%.

Asset managers indicate that there is still room to grow. Nearly all (96%) of the asset managers Cerulli surveyed across Europe believe that active thematic funds will grow over the next 12 to 24 months, and 28% of them foresee fast growth (greater than 10%) of thematic ETFs over the same period. Not surprisingly, products with sustainability and technology themes are expected to experience a high level of demand over the next two years.

Explore the biggest themes shaping asset gathering in Europe with our latest report, European Distribution Dynamics 2021: Reassessing Growth Opportunities, and capture new opportunities for growth in this region.

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