I’ve written a blog online for the last couple of years, often inspired by the way exceptional companies, or people think, it has become a widely followed blog in Asset Management with over 4,000 monthly viewers. When someone told me I changed their life, I started to understand the impact that social media could have if it was used as a force of good.
Last year I was reading the story of KKR’s private equity activity in Europe, or more specifically, The Netherlands. It made the front page of the Dutch version of the FT, the Financieel Dagblad. Across it’s pink pages was a hand squeezing out a lemon, into a glass, with KKR’s return in the last 12 months written across it, and an apparently void lemon above. Strong image. I wondered how many of the people reading it thought twice. It was written entirely from one perspective, no balanced opinion. No mention of some of the great things KKR had actually done with that portfolio, only a focus on the numbers, to stir up public opinion and controversy about the PE industry once again.
I wasn’t the first time I’d seen something like this in the papers but it was the first time that it made me want to do something. The issue with the press being a source of information, is that their main motivation is to sell papers. Not represent facts. They, just like the car industry, the bankers, the food industry, all industries, have to balance the books. But they, just like cars, food and bankers, also have to provide us with a service. And they should do it in a way that is fair, so we can understand the quality of the product we are getting. I am not saying that the financial sector and even in fact the asset management industry, is completely free from criticism. I am only saying that there is a disproportionate amount of negative press towards it, and because the industry isn’t easy to understand, people don’t have neither the means nor the motivation to try.
As an industry, why do we expect our end clients to seek to understand us, if we don’t seek to explain ourselves first? Everyone knows about the huge pensions shortfall, and on top we are all living longer. The asset management industry is the best way we have to serve this need. But it’s important we start educating people now, and it’s key that we do it in a way that makes people want to watch/listen/hear us.
I thought it would be really nice to get some proper information right from the source, talks, and articles on the topic of asset management, something that told people more than the papers do, without an agenda, and in a way that was more creative, more interesting.
You really have to understand something well in order to simplify it. The site will give you access to some of the most creative thought leaders we have come across in our daily work. I hope you enjoy the intelligent thought leadership on how the industry works, the overriding sense we get from people high and low in the industry, is that together we might be able to make the world a better place. We could use asset management as a force of good.
And that’s what brought us to FundsTV. Enjoy, share, spread the word.