Eduardo Ripollés: “The current scenario presents opportunities in all markets”
- Considering MAPFRE AM’s conservative nature, how should it navigate a highly volatile context for both equities and fixed income?
Our main objective, above all, is to control risk and preserve capital. The current scenario is a challenging environment for both equities, where we are seeing a rotation towards more defensive and slower-growing assets, and fixed income. In general, the interest rate hikes on both sides of the Atlantic are causing significant changes in terms of portfolios and durations.
Nonetheless, this situation is generating opportunities, and at MAPFRE AM we are positioning ourselves with a long-term view, maintaining risk control as our fundamental premise throughout the investment process.
- At uncertain times like the current ones, opportunities always arise. What other markets is MAPFRE AM exploring as a business?
Our management firm has a comprehensive view of the markets, and on the premise that our portfolios are highly diversified, we believe we can find opportunities in all of the current markets. Here, the important thing is to have a thorough, in-depth understanding of all the assets that we analyze, and if we believe they can bring us long-term value, we include them in our portfolio.
It’s not just about the market, it’s more about understanding the underlying assets that we consider when making investment decisions.
- The asset management sector is becoming more concentrated. Is this the path that managers will take in the future?
It’s clear that consolidation makes sense in terms of both management and operations. There are managers that have talent but lack distribution capacity. In contrast, there are other firms that have strong sales networks but demonstrate shortcomings from the management perspective. Synergies are more than welcome in this sector.
- Since you arrived at MAPFRE AM three years ago, it has been more focused on the institutional business. Is there margin in Spain to continue growing?
Of course. We have a great brand that helps to promote our value proposition in asset management. Our numbers speak for themselves, our investment capacity is our best reference, and if we combine that with the brand, I believe we have a winning combination.
- What added value does MAPFRE AM bring to institutional sales that other managers don't offer in Spain?
We are a global company with great investment potential, and we set the benchmark in institutional investment. Our competitors don't have these qualities, and we need to take advantage of them.
- How does an institutional investor differ from an individual investor?
In many aspects, which range from asset type, liquidity and investment horizon to the products they require. In any case, the institutional investor is evolving and adopting new criteria to meet their targets.
- You recently participated in the Value Investor Conference in London along with Jonathan Boyar. Is value a safe bet in the current context?
There is no question that the interest rate hikes are causing portfolio rotation towards less leveraged assets that generate cash flow and are more capable of handling an inflationary context like the current one. Value has been hampered for years, but now it may have an ideal context to grow.
- As a member of the EFPA (European Financial Planning Association), what are the keys to good financial planning?
To get the best financial returns, you have to analyze the tax, savings and inheritance aspects. We need to educate investors about the fact that all these variables must be considered together, as they are complementary, and one is not a replacement for the other.
- As manager of institutional sales, what does your daily work involve? And how hard is it to reach agreements at such uncertain times?
In an uncertain environment, investors are looking for security, and I cannot think of a better partner than MAPFRE to plan their investments.
My work is mainly focused on bringing visibility to our capacities and strengths in asset management so that those investors can trust us for the long haul.
Golf (whenever I get a chance) and swimming
- A dish
Suckling lamb paired with a nice glass of Spanish wine
- A city / country
Madrid and Lisbon / Spain
- A band
From the 20th century, Meat Loaf. From the 21st, Coldplay, but I can't forget Joaquín Sabina (he’s timeless).