Jose Cosio is the Head of Global Intermediary (ex US) at Neuberger Berman, he joined from Alliance Bernstein in 2019, where he spent nine years in various senior business development roles, including as Managing Director of Global Intermediaries for UK, MENA & Southern Europe. He has 18 years’ experience working in financial services and has held roles at Wachovia Securities and Old Mutual Bermuda. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance & Computer Information Systems from Tulane University in the US.
1. What led you to dedicate yourself to the financial sector? What would you be doing if you did not find a path in business?
I have been in the financial sector since I first began working full time – I didn’t really have a plan B so I’m not sure what I would have done. The allure of working hard on projects and seeing the desired outcome materialise over the course 1-3 year period is what captured my attention and now gives me a lot of job satisfaction. Matching the true needs of clients with manufacturing capabilities is appealing to me.
2. What is your biggest challenge in your role?
Sometimes in a global role, looking after a diverse client set – e.g. retail banks, private banks, insurance unit linked providers, retirement plans – it’s difficult to keep client messages concise and consistent. It’s easy to stray off topic, especially when there are a lot of factors to consider such as inflation, rates rising and political events, not to mention a myriad of peers offering a huge selection of different options.
In my role, it’s important to be reliable and deliver the right amount of information at any given time about the right product or solution for a client. Additionally, we have to be proactive and strategic with this information and luckily I have a great team who understand this.
3. In your opinion, what are the key drivers for successful fund distribution?
Patience, diligence and creativeness.
The competition is more than ample and very aggressive. Recently, I was asked by someone outside the firm: “what products are you pushing?” … I thought for a second and responded, “none.” We do not push anything at Neuberger Berman.
To successfully manage growth and capture market share, we need to focus on purpose, not push. The growth for Neuberger Berman will come by way of building trusted relationships based on the foundation and principle that we will represent what we do well and take into consideration the macro environment. We will match these investment opportunities with client demand. Our job is to focus on raising awareness about what we do across the firm, why we believe it’s a concept that the clients should care about, and how we do performance wise. The client will decide on their own with guidance from us and our message.
We do not push product.
4. What do you think will be the next disruptive element in the asset management industry?
A shift back to active as the market realises that we are possibly moving into tumultuous times and depending on active managers, at a fair price, will deliver better long-term risk adjusted results over passive.
Additionally, larger intermediary clients will likely continue to outsource core asset classes to managers via separate accounts, rather than only using funds.
Finally, the thematic trend is here to stay, whether in public or private markets.
5. What does your work look like on a daily basis and what are the problems you normally face? How do you stay motivated?
I focus on managing our pipeline daily, making sure that we are positioning the best we have in a purposeful way. I also check in on several clients directly and speak with the sales team about the details and blueprint for clients. I like to ensure that we are not missing anything and that we have a plan led with purpose and clients’ initiatives in mind.
I dislike losing more than I love winning. If there is an opportunity out there that sits squarely in our core competency, I want to be sure we are involved. We can’t win them all, but with each opportunity both us and the client learn something new.
Addressing the constantly changing landscape of intermediary clients is something that I really enjoy. There are common struggles, opportunities and themes; but overall, each client has their own nuances, and it is our job to interpret these and offer them relevant and well-conceived options.
6. What investment sectors and funds have clients been particularly interested in, in Q2 2021? What investment sectors and funds do you think will be of interest to clients in Q3 & Q4 2021?
Cash replacement ideas, private markets, thematic equities, and sustainable/impact investments.
The momentum going into the second half of the year is squarely still behind the ideas mentioned. However, given the market volatility both in fixed income and equities, I believe clients will begin looking more closely at global equity funds, real asset solutions and multi sector fixed income.
7. Due to the pandemic situation and the economic uncertainty, what are your perspectives regarding the future of the economy?
We can see a bumpy ride in the near term, but this is only natural given the market cycle shift we are experiencing.
Rates rising is a more common concern now than inflation, whether transitional or persistent. This will cause volatility across asset classes, primarily those longer in duration across equities and fixed income.
Given low rates, the market has been buying in on the dips curtailing long term declines. We expect this to continue