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Willis Towers Watson launches The Asset Management Exchange

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Willis Towers Watson has launched The Asset Management Exchange (AMX), an institutional asset management marketplace designed to transform institutional investment for the benefit of the end saver, with USD750 million of delegated hedge fund assets.

AMX is a global marketplace where asset owners (the buyers) can invest in external asset managers (the sellers) and where asset managers can access significant capital, cutting overall value leakage as a result.
It will do this through a centralised back office and standardised fund infrastructure that bypasses the investment industry’s significant cost and resource duplication. In addition, it will deliver scale benefits to both sides of the market while increasing transparency and asset owner control.
John Haley (pictured), CEO of Willis Towers Watson, says: “In the last 20 years, our lives have been transformed by innovation. Technology is breaking down barriers and challenging the inefficiencies which have burdened many industries for far too long. The resulting marketplaces tend to be fairer, quicker and more transparent. They give buyers better choice and control and open up new customers for sellers and can rapidly become global in nature. We recognise the power of this trend and are backing AMX to be a catalyst for change in institutional investment.”
Willis Tower Watson has committed a significant financial investment into the development of AMX which represents the continuation of its corporate strategy of building client-oriented solutions and operating marketplaces. The initial USD750 million of capital on the exchange came from clients of the company’s Investment business, but it is expected that the offering will appeal to a broad range of the company’s clients.
Oliver Jaegemann, global head of AMX, says: “From today, the digital revolution has come to institutional asset management and it will never be the same again. AMX will make investment smarter, easier and cheaper to implement and monitor, for both buyer and seller, and significantly improve investment outcomes for the end saver.”
AMX is open to institutional asset owners to benefit from the economies of scale which will increase in line with asset growth. In addition the exchange takes on the development of product packaging allowing asset managers to focus solely on investing.
Jaegemann says: “We fundamentally believe that AMX is the smartest way to steward assets and Willis Towers Watson is already using the exchange for some of its delegated assets with more to follow soon.”
AMX, which launches first in the UK, will initially focus on providing cost effective and simpler access to hedge fund strategies, with additional asset classes following later in the year.
Chris Ford, ‎global head of investment at Willis Towers Watson, says: “We have long contended that intermediaries in the investment industry have taken too much out of the value chain to the detriment of the end saver. We believe AMX will change this by standardising and centralising the investment vehicles that managers and investors use thereby reducing overall costs and increasing marketplace transparency and competition. AMX will be our implementation solution of choice and we encourage asset owners and asset managers to use the exchange for the benefit of the end savers that we all represent.”

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