Asset management firms continue to face economic challenges compounded further by the market volatility of 2018. According to a Wall Street Journal report, the shares of U.S. fund firms fared worse than banking firms. The report pointed out that while the S&P 500 was down 7% in 2018, banks in the index dropped nearly 20% and asset managers more than 25%. A report in Pensions & Investments outlined the pressures on the industry going into the new year. The P&I report sees major main pain points for manager profits in 2019, including: a continuing shift toward passive strategies by institutional investors; greater use of performance-based fees that result in less predictable income; and increasing mergers and acquisitions. Deloitte’s comprehensive report on the outlook for 2019 strikes a more positive note and sees growth opportunities for managers in investments in technology, strategic acquisitions, and product development using artificial intelligence, ESG and innovative pricing models. Deloitte senior executives will host a webinar on January 22, 2019 to discuss the factors likely to distinguish industry leaders from laggards in the next 12 months. Topics will include: evaluating growth options and opportunities through diversification, market expansion, and product development; creating operational efficiencies through the use of emerging technologies; and delivering next-level customer experience. Registration is available here.