The European Pension Management Industry
This paper seeks to assess the current status and future prospects
for private pension management in Continental Europe, with a particular
focus on the nature of competition among managers of pension assets.
It is shown that the pension fund sectors in Continental Europe are relatively
small and the industry to date has tended to be oligopolistic and segmented
on a national basis. Similar comments apply to the investment fund and life
insurance sectors also. This situation has tended to lead to higher prices and
lower returns than could otherwise be obtained. Regulatory, fiscal and
demand-side differences are at the time of writing holding back a Pan European
asset management market, despite three years of EMU. Nevertheless, future
pressures are likely to induce greater competition, notably on a cross border
basis. These include not only evolving effects of EMU itself but also the indirect
effects on assets management via banking, EU Directives and the furthre
pressures for pension reform.