Evli has again been named the ‘Best Institutional Asset Manager’ in Finland by renowned market intelligence firm Kantar Prospera – topping the polls for the sixth time in seven years.
In the 2021 survey, conducted by Kantar Prospera, Finnish institutional investors assessed the quality of 14 asset managers based on 13 quality criteria. The respondents viewed the most important criteria when selecting an asset manager to be portfolio management competence, track record and product quality.
The number one ranking is recognition of and validation for Evli’s sharp focus on delivering value for their client-centric philosophy. However, the real value of this ranking lies in the details: Evli takes the research and identifies areas where they need to shore-up their efforts and persistently find better ways to serve the people who matter most: clients.
“Our primary focus is on delivering value to our clients, on building products and portfolios that are the strongest in the market and on fulfilling the promises that we make. We’re always trying to make life easier for our clients. Rankings and recognitions are important, but they’re just the by-product of what we do day-in and day-out at Evli,” says Kim Pessala, Head of Institutional Clients at Evli.
This year they bested a crowded, albeit highly competent, field of thirteen other asset managers. Evli is the most widely-used institutional asset manager in Finland for the fifth consecutive year: over sixty-six percent of the respondents use Evli's asset management services.
“An opportunity to have a development discussion”
The ranking is based on a detailed, research-led and extensive study that incorporates the results of numerous interviews conducted amongst the biggest and most professional institutional investors in Finland, ranging from insurance companies and pension institutions to endowments and foundations, cities and municipalities, parish unions and universities. “They are all truly professional investors, used to dealing with a large number of investment advisors from all over the world. They understand the role that we play and they are the most demanding investors in Finland,” observes Pessala.
An in-depth study of the results therefore provides objective and valuable feedback on how clients perceive Evli.
“Every year, when the research for the ranking is published, we dig into all details and try to figure out what we can do better, what the clients are asking for, and how we can develop ourselves. For us, this is a good opportunity to have a development discussion within ourselves,” Pessala continues.
It is of utmost importance to always listen the clients and try to understand their needs and wishes, as well as attempting to solve any problems that may arise. It is also crucial to actively develop the services based on client demands.
For example, Evli is putting great emphasis on ESG and responsibility, which has been appreciated by the clients in the surveys. Further, Evli has just set new climate targets and aims to halve the carbon emissions of our investments by 2030, while aiming to be a net zero asset manager by 2050 at the latest.
On a scale of 1-5, Evli received special praise for sustainable investment expertise (3.98), portfolio management competence (4.23), product quality (4.00) and sales personnel competence (4.27).
This comes as no surprise to Pessala.
A culture of client-centricity and delivering value
“How do we add value to our clients? What are their priorities? How do we make their lives easier with our reporting and levels of transparency? Every Monday morning, we have a meeting to get feedback from clients and these questions are something that we constantly discuss both with our clients and internally,” he says.
This organisation-wide culture of being client-centric and focused on delivering value is deep-rooted in Evli.
Great emphasis is also placed on a research-led approach to investing. “Many of us started as portfolio managers a long time ago and we highly value the competence and knowledge needed to help our clients. We’re not just calling clients to sell some fancy new product and gain market share, but we are also consulting and helping the clients with a wide range of services. For example, we help our clients to formulate their strategic asset allocation and investment policy, as well as assisting them in the long-term planning of private illiquid assets. The value proposition we offer is based on facts and robust academic research,” says Pessala.
Long-term customer relationships are a sign of trust
The strength of Evli’s performance also comes from the deep mutual trust and reliability of the long relationships that Evli’s personnel have with the very experienced institutional clients in Finland; relationships that have been nurtured over the years, with many going back to the early 1990s.
The result of all this work was once again the latest result; Evli's brand strength in asset management services was again assessed as the strongest in 2021.