SOLVING THE ALPHA
HAVING LIVED IN URUGUAY, ITALY, LUXEMBOURG AND LONDON BEFORE RETURNING TO MAKE HIS HOME IN THE GRAND DUCHY, EDUARDO GRAMUGLIA, NOW COUNTRY HEAD AT STATE STREET BANK INTERNATIONAL’S LUXEMBOURG BRANCH, SAYS DEVELOPING A CLOSE AND ENDURING RELATIONSHIP WITH CLIENTS IS CENTRAL TO HELPING THEM FULFIL THEIR STRATEGY.
What are your priorities in your new role?
I focus mostly on people - both colleagues and clients. Internally, I need to make sure that our people are aligned, especially when they interact with our clients. Our company has an extensive footprint all over the world, soit is critical to be able to bring it all together for our clients in a clear way: we have to deliver a single State Street! Our mission statement, which is reflected in our logo of a clipper ship, is to help our clients navigate their own strategy, Luxembourg, new regulations and a fast-changing world. The fund industry remains a people business, and my goal for State Street is to remain a trusted partner, both internally and externally.
How are you clients’ needs evolving?
I identify three main trends. First, many of our clients today have investors who want increased alpha, so they are looking strongly at alternative investments. On the regulatory side, their challenge, like ours, is to make regulators comfortable, so that they can focus on their core business of investments, while we look after their service needs Finally, data is becoming critical in our industry. It is necessary to achieve more transparency in reporting, whether it is carried out by State Street or directly by the client who receives the data from different sources including us. Data is also a critical factor in ESG to prevent greenwashing, or to obtain a label for your fund. There is a lot going on. In order to grow with our clients, we need to be reactive, agile, and demonstrate a strong entrepreneurial spirit and sense of ownership.
Which opportunities do you identify?
There are many! In the context of growth in Luxembourg, I believe in the virtues of working more closely with our clients and with our staff, both here in the grand-duchy and across the whole State Street network. Despite being acquainted with the topic, not many clients and colleagues can have a meaningful discussion, for example, about Luxembourg in general or the best way to launch a RAIF. An asset manager doesn’t necessarily know all the implications. There is nothing more valuable than being the trusted partner of a client at the start of a new project. Living in South America, Rome, London and here, I discovered something universal about communication: if you want people to understand the true value that we can bring to asset managers, you need to say it, say it again and say it one more time!
How important are sales in the fund industry today?
If you look at my personal journey, I started in operations – talking with brokers, doing cash controls and so on, which allows me today to consider both sides of the business. Later I worked on standardisation, in order to enable clients to control all processes in one place. Then I moved into relationship management. The sales side was the later part of my career, and I happened to enjoy it. To me sales is about creating with your clients a strategy of how to grow and execute on it, while having a deep understanding of the technical aspects of their and our own business. Very often, we come to know them really well, so we are able to explain the external technicalities and where they can find the solution internally. Ultimately this is a key to generate alpha! It certainly requires a long-term vision and commitment, often changing the target operating model, but working at State Street allows us to offer products that are fit for purpose, together with a strong commitment to delivering over the long term. Alpha depends largely on the willingness of our clients to create this partnership.
The information contained in this communication is not a research recommendation or ‘investment research’ and is classified as a ‘Marketing Communication’ in accordance with the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (2014/65/EU) or applicable Swiss regulation. This means that this marketing communication (a) has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research (b) is not subject to any prohibition on dealing ahead of the dissemination of investment research.
The views expressed in this material are the views of Eduardo Gramuglia Pallavicino through the period ended 03/28/2021 and are subject to change based on market and other conditions.
Facts & Figures
Birthday: 18 December 1968
Birthplace: Montevideo, Uruguay
Language spoken: Spanish, Italian, English, French
Hobbies: chasing after my son…..
Favourite Towns: Rome, Buenos Aires, London, HK, Shanghai, Tokyo, Paris, San Vigilio di Marebbe, Montevideo, Boston, Quebec City….
Favourite Places: the world
Favourite Book: Lord of the rings (trilogy)
Favourite Restaurants: all depending on occasion and mood
Favourite Music: rock, classic (especially large orchestras)
Favourite Artwork (or artist): impressionists
Position : Country Head
Other Positions: Director on different Boards