Sean O'Driscoll (GAM FMS): The pure player
Sean O'Driscoll, CEO of GAM Luxembourg and Head of GAM’s Fund Management Services business (FMS), reveals the compelling premise attracting some of the world’s leading financial institutions to rely on GAM’s expertise. GAM’s FMS offer allows its clients to focus on their core competencies of investment decision-making and efficient fund distribution.
Can you describe GAM FMS in a few words?
GAM is an Asset Manager created in 1983. It has 3 core business lines: Investment Management, Wealth Management and Fund Management Services, which was created in 1992 as the Private Label Funds business (PLF). GAM FMS is a pure player for two reasons: first of all, asset management is in our DNA allowing us to understand our clients’ needs in depth, and second, it does not provide additional services such as fund administration or transfer agency, which allows us to focus on our core activities. With CHF 68.0 billion of third-party fund assets under management at the end of 2021, GAM FMS is one of the largest bank-independent, third-party fund solution providers in Europe. While its global footprint delivers services to over 45 clients around the world, GAM FMS has built incomparable local expertise through its operations in the Switzerland, Luxembourg, Ireland, UK and Italy as well as through partnerships in Australia and Singapore. Our clients know they can rely on us to assist them in the design and delivery of their customized investment strategies.
“Our clients know they can rely on us to assist them in the design and delivery of customized investment strategies.”
How are your clients’ needs evolving?
GAM FMS’ clients include banks, wealth managers, asset owners, such as pension schemes and insurance companies as well as independent asset managers. It operates with a simple, but compelling premise: our clients outsource the establishment and operation of their funds to GAM FMS, which then efficiently and cost-effectively manages the day-to-day fund operations on their behalf. Our clients can concentrate on their core competencies: Efficient fund distribution and investment decisions that drive intended returns. Increasingly, clients see the benefit of a partnership where we provide robust services meeting their needs in all asset classes and offering all types of strategies, including complex ones featuring hedge funds for example. We act as a one-stop-shop for all their needs.
Which challenges and opportunities do you identify in the current context?
In a rapidly changing global environment, we assist our clients navigate the ever-increasing regulatory and substance requirements. GAM is in a position to leverage economies of scale giving clients some regulatory headroom that allows them to concentrate on their core business. As clients assess their needs against this dynamic background, we also have the ability to meet a wide range of specific investor needs across all asset classes including the burgeoning environmental, social and governance space. To meet these challenges of our times, GAM’s approach can be summarised by our credo that, “If you’re seeking fund management services beyond the ordinary, you need to look beyond the obvious”. With GAM, you shouldn’t expect any less; indeed, you can confidently expect more. But you should always expect something different.