BOSTON — Australia, the United States and United Kingdom offer the best opportunities for money managers, according to Cerulli Associates Inc. But, Taiwan and Chile should not be overlooked.
Twelve of the markets covered in its 2004 midyear report ranking the top 20 places worldwide in which asset managers should do business are now more attractive than they were at the end of last year. In several instances, the improved outlooks reflect reduced restrictions on fund managers or new rules that will spur investing, the Boston-based research and consulting firm said. Australia was ranked above all other countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Switzerland and China.
Six countries, including India and Germany, became less attractive, Cerulli said. The other two markets, Brazil and Singapore, showed no change from the second half of 2003. Many reasons were behind the downgrades issued last year, namely the market-timing scandal and its longer-term repercussions. These "remain firmly in place and may even become more significant issues as regulators continue to tinker," Cerulli said in the report.
Cerulli uses 11 criteria in both the retail and institutional sectors for qualitative assessments of current and expected conditions in each market. More weight is given to long-term catalysts that are more likely to generate revenue going forward. Cerulli researchers acknowledge in the report that the system is "unabashedly opinion-driven and highly subjective in nature, although its qualitative assessments are often based on detailed quantitative analysis of various target markets."