Daniel Blum, Sales Director Southern Germany & Austria is our Sales Manager of the Month. Daniel has been working for Jupiter Asset Management since 2005 and is currently responsible for Sales & Client Service in Southern Germany and Austria. He started his career in 2001 in corporate banking with Commerzbank. In 2003 he moved to management consultancy Homburg & Partner, working on strategy, sales and pricing projects. After more than five years at Jupiter’s London headquarters he relocated to Germany in 2011 to support the business development in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Daniel holds a Master’s degree in Business Management from Mannheim University; he also studied at Warwick Business School, London School of Economics and Harvard.
What reasons led you to dedicate yourself to the financial sector? What career path would you have chosen if not this one?
During my Master’s in Business & Economics, I realised an early interest in financial markets, since I used to work a lot with financial models at the time. Since then I have always been fascinated with what moves markets, risk and how markets price risk. Initially I wanted to become a defense attorney. I had already applied for law school, but then changed my mind at the last minute.
What sustains your drive within the industry?
What I find most exciting in the asset management industry is that both the market environment and clients’ needs are constantly evolving. Everything is constantly changing and everything is somehow connected. And that, in turn, always brings exciting new challenges with it, which motivates me.
What’s your biggest challenge as a Sales Director? Any crucial change in your role since COVID-19 changed the way we conduct business?
It is always tough to keep the balance between being on the road and being available for clients ad-hoc when they need something. The first few weeks of the Covid-19 lockdown were quite demanding, when everyone was suddenly forced to adapt. But we have had a ver positive experience networking digitally with our clients. And some innovative formats are certainly here to stay, even once Covid-19 is a distant memory.
What do you think will be the next disruptive elements in the asset management industry?
The recent market distortions, like the widening of spreads in fixed income markets and greater dispersion between business models, are disruptive effects of the coronavirus pandemic, that will have a longer term impact. Given the unprecedented level of stimulus from governments and central banks, we are not yet able to estimate the full extent of the crisis. But what we do know is that greater dispersion means great opportunities for truly active managers.
Could you highlight any topic on which investors should focus for the long term?
The unprecedented stimulus packages that central banks and governments around the world have launched in response to the coronavirus crisis are ultimately, I believe, likely to have an inflationary outcome. Against that background, I think investors will for the long-term turn to real assets like equities and real estate.
Which assets do you think will perform best in Q4 2020 considering the current market situations? Which assets are performing well under stress scenarios?
In the fourth quarter, those equities that are directly linked to the coronavirus pandemic should be in a good position to continue to perform well. In other words, all companies and sectors that became more important to you during this crisis period: everything related to working from home, home schooling, streaming content, online shopping and related technology. All those areas in which the crisis has forced consumers to change their everyday behaviour are set to benefit significantly. And I think it is very unlikely that we will see a complete reversal of this behaviour. Even those who have only now discovered online shopping for themselves are unlikely to go back; it is simply too convenient for most of us. The health sector should also continue to offer opportunities, albeit at a bit more risk in my opinion. In addition, physical gold should not be dismissed given the high levels of uncertainty. At the end of the day, the G7 central banks have around 40 per cent allocation to gold, but how much do you have?