Active vs. Passive - The Endgame

Managing editor, Roger Hirst, sits down with Lee Robertson, CEO and founder of, to explore how the future of active management will impact the opportunities and risks available to investors. Robertson attributes the current outflows from active into passive not only to insufficient performance to justify active manager’s higher fees, but also to a younger cohort of investors entering the market, who are more interested in thematic investing and daily liquidity than they are in having a hedge fund manager make big bets on their behalf. Hirst and Robertson discuss the move for traditional asset managers to become passive asset-gathering and for hedge fund to re-invent themselves as long-only shops. Lastly, they look forward to how technology will impact the future of investing, such as blockchain driving down the frictional costs of transactions. Key learnings: Fee compression for active managers will likely continue. The days of the “all-star trader” are gone, and it is the risk manager who holds the keys to power. Yet the narrative of “the death of active management” is overblown as there are fantastic managers out there who are delivering consistent alpha.

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