Ten months since announcing its opening of a London office, Dutch fiduciary management giant Mn Services has won a grand total of zero UK mandates.
Fortunately for the firm, it already has over €65bn in assets under management, so it can probably absorb one bad year.
The firm itself would never admit to it, but it has to be disappointing. A concept that has proven so popular and successful in the Netherlands has simply not taken off in the UK as they had hoped.
Why not? In the end fiduciary management is just a fancy term for financial service provision. Firms like Mn Services will usually take on an entire pension fund’s operations, managing everything from investment to distribution. Should a fund only require certain services, the fiduciary manager is happy to accommodate.
Several features were written about Mn’s UK move and the verdict was inconclusive. Schemes sounded interested, but were wary of giving away too much control and saw the possibility for conflicts of interest. Some simply didn’t see how it was any different from what was already on offer.
It is still early, and the Dutch manager has only recently finished recruiting for its six-strong UK team. In May 2008 its chairman Ruud Hagendijk said the firm was proceeding with caution. He called the UK a complex market, and said he would be content if they only won one new client in a year’s time.
In that case Mn may be on borrowed time.