Nicholas Blake-Knox, former Senior Legal Counsel of PIMCO's EMEA funds business who took up the role of head of investment funds at Walkers Ireland on January 1 assesses the economics of the asset management industry and the forces that are reshaping it. He also analyses the regulatory pipeline and potential Brexit complications facing the European and Irish funds industry.

To put it mildly, 2017 was an eventful year for the asset management and investment funds industry. Yet, despite the various geopolitical and regulatory headwinds that the industry has faced throughout the year, the number of Irish authorised investment funds and the respective assets under management have increased compared to 2016, based upon the latest available data.

Although increased AUM levels have been helped in part by record equity valuations, the number of new Irish fund authorisations during the period has been encouraging. Whilst the drivers for growth in the equity markets have been well documented and the Dow and FTSE have recently hit record highs, an increasingly competitive and cost conscious market environment, coupled with a more complex regulatory landscape, are likely to contribute to choppy waters for certain asset managers in 2018.

This article was originally published in Finance Dublin.

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