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Contact Bdifferent:

Tel: +44 (0) 1293 601901











Latest News Stories:

Covid 19, some green shoots?

We have almost run out of adjectives to describe the last few months let alone what we are all facing at the moment, ‘challenging’ might be a front runner but only because we can’t find a word that implies something bigger. As we navigate our way through Bdifferent’s 20th year, to be honest, we thought we’d seen it all!

Bdifferent has come of age!

We’re really not sure where all the time has gone, but 2nd June 2018 marked Bdifferent’s 18th birthday. Over the years, we’ve witnessed periods of seismic change within the financial services industry and provided our clients with essential business insights throughout.

How hype and the hope of huge Bitcoin gains has seduced the cautious Millennial investor

At Bdifferent, we’ve recently completed an in-depth research study to discover what makes ABC1 Millennials tick when it comes to planning for their financial lifetime and investing. More than a few of the insights revealed have come as something of a surprise. Take Bitcoins and the like as a prime example.

Millennials .... investors of the future but don't rule them out now

At Bdifferent, our recent research into what makes Millennials tick when it comes to investing and planning for their financial lifetime has revealed some fascinating, if surprising, insights. The financial challenges facing this generation have received wide coverage and so the temptation is to see them all as not having the wherewithal to invest.

Hope for advisers as Millennials choose advice over robo

In-depth research by Bdifferent into ABC1 Millennials’ attitudes and behaviour when it comes to planning and acting for their financial future reveals some interesting statistics on investment decision making.

Millennials and their pensions ... the good, the bad and the ugly truth

At Bdifferent, our recent research into what makes Millennials tick when it comes to investing and planning for their financial lifetime has unearthed some interesting insights.

Reliable administration may not set the pulse racing and yet ....

….. it’s importance when it comes to European fund selectors should not be underestimated. In fact, whilst there are different priorities between various countries, reliable administration is the top consideration when selecting asset managers, alongside performance track record.

How do we know? By asking the right people the right questions. At Bdifferent, we’ve recently completed the third annual wave of our European Fund Selector Syndicated Study, in association with Investment Europe.

Why Asset Manager Asia websites need to be up to scratch

At Bdifferent, our antennae always twitch when our research uncovers some particularly interesting nuggets and our recent Asia Fund Selector research study has triggered them once again.

GDPR Statement

What is GDPR?

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a new regulatory framework which addresses the collection, use, processing and transfer of personal data of all European Union citizens.

Personal data is defined as any information related to an individual which can be used either directly or indirectly to identify that individual.

GDPR comes into effect in the UK and all EU Member States on 25 May 2018, and tightens the rules for personal data handling to ensure that the rights of individuals are met.

Blackrock has upper hand in Europe

European fund selectors considered BlackRock to be the top asset management company for passive funds and it also led the field across no fewer than 13 other asset classes including Global and European Equities, ETFs and Absolute Return Funds (the last being jointly with Nordea).

Millennials - UK’s biggest population group – are you well prepared to target the investors of the future?

As the largest UK population group, the impact of the millennial generation upon the world of savings, investment and pension companies is set to be of immense proportions. As the first digital natives, they do things very differently from previous generations and existing research hints that they may have different priorities too when it comes to investing.

Pension provider alert! How well will your non-advised drawdown communications stand up to FCA scrutiny?

The FCA recently unveiled its 2017/18 business plan and non-advised drawdown sales are firmly in the spotlight in the form a thematic review, specifically focusing on sales processes and ongoing communications. It will be homing in on sample companies and checking that customers are being given the information they need to make informed decisions when deciding to draw upon their pension pots.

Bdifferent has its finger on the pulse when it comes to rules of thumb

As part of the FCA’s Financial Advice Market Review, the Financial Advice Working Group was tasked with establishing some simple rules of thumb which, when combined with timely ‘nudges’, empower individuals to take action on their financial needs.

Researching the advice gap for retirement lending

A ticking time bomb for retirement finances equates to market opportunities
• With the ticking-time bomb of maturing interest-only mortgages together with inadequate retirement pots, more and more home-owners at the end of their full-time working lives are seeking ways to maintain their lifestyle into increasingly lengthy retirements.
• The existence of a booming demand for retirement lending therefore comes as little surprise and many forward-thinking financial providers are clearly focused on this opportunity.

What lies at the core of worryingly low levels of trust in pensions?

Long-term financial products, such as pensions, are trusted by less than a quarter of over 55s who have accessed their pension pots, according to a recent ‘Which’ survey. It may be tempting to simply put this phenomenon down to the fairly recent introduction of pension freedoms. After all, an unwelcome bedfellow to more choice is often more decision-making, demanding more time and attention.

Fund range increasingly important for European fund selectors

Financial research specialist Bdifferent has revealed a few nuggets of information from a recent European Fund Selector syndicated study, run in partnership with Investment Europe. The study tracks the views of around 350 fund selecting professionals across Benelux, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and the Nordics on a yearly basis.

Market confusion amongst Asia fund selectors

According to a recent study undertaken by financial services research specialist Bdifferent, market volatility and geopolitical uncertainties look to be taking their toll in terms of a consensus on where to find best returns.

Whilst active funds continue to be the mainstay in most client portfolios, Asian fund selector views are very mixed in terms of strategies and themes. As little as six months ago, the UK and Europe were regarded as relatively ‘safe bets’ but, although some still consider Europe Small Cap to be attractive, many say they are now avoiding or scaling back in both arenas. Similarly, some are also drawing in their horns as far as the US is concerned, reflecting some sentiment of current over-pricing.

There seems to be no new ‘safe bet’ crown-wearer as far as Asia fund selectors are concerned. Confidence seems to have grown somewhat in China, in which holdings were underweight last year, according to some. And, in the quest for returns, an element of previously recorded nervousness around emerging market equities appears to have dispersed. Closer to home, Asia as a whole is being increasingly called upon by some as a source of relatively stable funds.

The one and only consistent theme emerging is an increasing use of multi asset or multi strategy products for the more cautious investors, together with a growing focus on alternatives in search of diversification and growth.

Kim Bell, co-founder of Bdifferent, says ‘Our Asia Fund Selector syndicated study runs every six months so we’re perfectly placed to pick up on changes in trends and this degree of uncertainty is interesting. In previous studies, fund selectors have tended to have a clear steer on where to find relative safe havens for returns but this time it has been different. It highlights how quickly views can alter during volatile times and why our asset manager clients very wisely choose to keep their ears continually close to the ground.’

February 2017

Join us in the UK and Asia

We're looking for people in all stages of their careers, from research executives to senior researchers, to join our qualitative and quantitative teams in the UK and to help develop and run our business in Singapore.

Have a look through our website and tell us what you think you can offer.

Contact Pauline, our head of operations in the first instance -

Advisers and investors taking a pragmatic view on Brexit

It's been two weeks since the UK voted to leave the EU and hardly an hour goes by without some form of scare-mongering headline from the news feeds. Naturally, there is uncertainty over the practical implications of Brexit and how all will pan out over the course of time.

However, based on Bdifferent's research amongst advisers over the past couple of weeks, most appear to be fairly measured in terms of their level of concern. Whilst the markets currently seem to be taking the UK’s departure in their stride, advisers believe they will be unsettled for some time to come. But, as one adviser put it:

'If we've done our job properly, our clients will have a globally diversified portfolio, designed exactly for these types of event so the impact on clients' investment outlook, should be minimal.'

While worried about what their holiday Pounds will buy them in Euros and Dollars, investors seem to also have tempered reservations about the effect on their investment portfolios. Indeed, some are looking at the current situation as an opportunity to invest in UK and European equities in the hope that what comes down will inevitably go back up.

'It's not a global crisis. We've seen volatility before and we've ridden the storm.’ said one investor.

Our view at Bdifferent? Sadly, we no more have a crystal ball than anyone else in the industry and inevitably there are still concerns bearing in mind the period of change and upheaval that lies ahead. One thing we are sure of is that, now more than ever, product providers need to stay close to their customers to monitor changes in sentiment, listen to their needs and develop and refine products appropriate to their needs. In essence, putting the customer first will always be paramount, regardless of how events unfold.

July 2016

Asset Manager alert! One size does not fit all in Asia

English may be the main business language but, when it comes to Asset Managers wanting to ensure they’re communicating with Asia fund selectors in the different market regions in the right way, it’s about so much more than just language.

For example, when it comes to talking via social media, did you know that 88% of fund selectors in Hong Kong use the equivalent of WeChat/WhatsApp for business, while only 44% of Singapore fund selectors do the same? And that Facebook is frequently used for business by 40% of Taiwanese fund selectors, whilst only 9% in Singapore do the same?

And UK based Asset Managers beware – UK fund selectors are still way behind their Asian colleagues in terms of social media adoption.

March 2016

Bdifferent at the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries

How squirrels, mice, ostriches and pilot fish came to live under the UK Pension Freedoms

Before the introduction of Pensions Freedoms in the UK came widespread speculation that consumers would cash-in their pensions and, especially in the case of small pots, rapidly blow the lot. The prospect of large swathes of the population leaving themselves next to nothing to live on in their old ages rang alarm bells in the media. Apocryphal tales abounded of flashy Italian cars bought with pension fund cash poised to speed off from dealership forecourts.

February 2016

Technology Enabled Care - Implications for UK insurers

The convergence of mobile monitoring devices with digital technology, telecoms and healthcare technology is set to enable greater self-management of health and can alert professionals to changes in conditions and deviation from health or medication regimes – this is Technology Enabled Care and it looks to be a market which is set to boom.

So what are the implications for the insurance industry and how will TEC play out in the longer term ?

Contact Graham Bell to find out more about this exciting new syndicated study - call +44 (0) 1293 601901

February 2016

Bdifferent launches first Asian syndicated study for asset managers

Bdifferent, the financial services research company has launched its first syndicated study for asset managers operating across Asia.

July 2015

How hype and the hope of huge Bitcoin gains can seduce the cautious Millennial investor

At Bdifferent, we’ve recently completed an in-depth research study to discover what makes ABC1 Millennials tick when it comes to planning for their financial lifetime and investing. More than a few of the insights revealed have come as something of a surprise. Take Bitcoins and the like as a prime example.

So, whilst Millennials are every bit as cautious about risk as their older counterparts, something has been tempting them put their concerns onto the back burner and venture into much more adventurous territory ….. cryptocurrency.
Whether sentiments have changed given recent falls in Bitcoin values is open to question but it just goes to show what can happen when something ignites the imagination

We've developed an impressive list of global clients, we'd love you to join them

Contact us today