Christophe Mallet joined OFI Asset Management as Director of Marketing and Marketing and Communication, and is now the Director of International Development. Christophe, 53 years old, was previously Marketing Manager at BNP Paribas Investment Partners, in the Distribution business line. He began his career at the AFG before joining various management subsidiaries of the CDC as Head of Marketing and Communication. In 2000, Christophe Mallet joined the Allianz group where he was, until 2011, Deputy Managing Director of Allianz Global Investor France, in charge of Communication, Marketing and Network Development. Christophe Mallet is a graduate of the Institut d’Études Politiques (1983).
When did you star your career? Did you always want to work in the financial sector?
I started my career in 1987, almost 35 years ago, after studying at the Institute of Political Studies, in Paris, and doing my national service in the Ivory Coast.
My interest in the finance was already established, as well as a strong passion for international issues. I started my career at the AFG, for international affairs, at the time of the implementation of the first European directive.
Among the most important activities I was entrusted with, I was in charge of development, marketing and communication activities in France for AGI France, then for BNP Paribas Investment Partners before joining OFI Asset Management where I am in charge of International development, which covers the following five countries to date: Germany, Austria, Portugal, Spain and Italy.
As head of international business development at OFI AM – How does a normal day at work look like?
We have several missions:
Develop the market outside the French-speaking territories: This activity includes market studies, the development of business plans, necessary before any deployment on a new market and of course the implementation of the necessary operational setups (search for partnerships, determination of offers and product registration, implementation of distribution contracts with the various platforms and third-party marketers, and finally the marketing and communication devices).
We must also ensure the commercial efforts, and the development of the distribution partnerships, in each of the countries we are in charge of. Finally, we must define and implement the marketing and communication strategy.
A day’s work is therefore both highly organized around relations with our distribution teams, for a permanent dialogue with investors around our expertise, but also the internal mobilization of the various departments, of the management company, that contribute to the international development. Of course, in less troubled times, a normal day can also consist of meeting our clients and prospects in each market, to tailor solutions to their investment needs.
What is the biggest challenge of your role and what do you enjoy the most?
Obviously, the main challenge of my role is to increase the assets held by international clients. This, of course, in the five markets we are responsible for, and for the client segments that have been defined, also for which we have applied a specific marketing strategy.
The second challenge is to understand the structure and organization of each of these markets. Even if they are all European and share certain regulations, it is still true that they all have specificities that need to be understood. Their maturity is not the same; for example, sustainable development issues and SRI are not necessarily understood the same way. Some markets are more internationalized than others, some more institutional and less wholesale; it is this set of characteristics, of intermediation systems with a greater or lesser role played by consultants, that constitutes the most challenging element of our business.
In your opinion what are the key drivers for successful fund distribution?
Beyond the quality of products or services that a management company can offer (performance, price), a management company must approach a market with a solid and proven value proposition that will be judged on the robustness of its processes, its convictions, its expertise and the appropriateness of its offer, to the identified needs of its clients.
Moreover, knowledge and proximity to the customer are also key elements to be able to offer the best-fit products or services at the right time.
It is therefore very important to maintain a constant and rich dialogue with clients and prospects for the distribution of information, high added value content, forecasts, research, etc.
What investment trends do you think will be more interesting during this 2022?
For us, sustainability will remain the most important trend in 2022 and in the following years… We think that the solutions, which are linked to the climate change challenges and impact investing, will remain at the heart of the institutional investors’ concerns and of the individuals’ ones. This is why we offer a range of responsible solutions, that gather all our investment solutions and services in the SRI field.
The asset management industry must continue educating and shaping people in this subject area.
Do you have any advice for anyone wanting to pursue a career in the asset management industry?
Asset management is an industry that requires an open mind and many interests. Of course, this activity is related to the economy and the financial markets, but it also encompasses a wide range of professions, from compliance to marketing to operations; it is a very rich universe that is open to the world and at the heart of its issues. It is therefore necessary to keep an open mind when confronting the challenges.