The director for UK wealth at an investment firm, which is part of a large US pension fund, believes that the current financial environment is well-suited to his business model as he targets the private wealth market. While talk of AI and “disruptive” business models is widespread, there is a certain appeal to being part of an investment group with a long-standing history.
Nuveen, founded in 1898 and purchased by the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association (TIAA) in 1918, has five million savers and roughly $1.3 trillion in assets under management. Nuveen is focusing on expanding its private wealth market outside of the US and appointed former Allianz Global Investors executive Harry Bush as director of UK wealth in November 2022.
Bush’s appointment will support Nuveen’s ambitions to grow its offering for private wealth clients across Europe, following similar appointments in Switzerland, Denmark, and Sweden in 2022. According to Bush, Nuveen’s story needs to be shared with a wider audience.
In a recent interview with WealthBriefing, Harry Bush, the director of UK wealth at Nuveen, stated that the investment firm is aiming to expand its range of tailored products and build its client support system. Despite already being a large business with over 600 employees outside the US, Nuveen is continuing to develop, with the recent promotion of Romina Smith to head of continental Europe and the opening of a location in Zurich.
Bush emphasized that Nuveen has been successful in building a world-class client service system across various regions and client segments over the past 125 years. He added that a significant part of the firm’s growth in recent years has been from the acquisition of specialist investment managers across infrastructure, natural capital, and private credit. Each of Nuveen’s investment teams can express their views freely without being constrained to a top-down “house position,” with the common goal of seeking diversified sources of income.
In a recent interview with WealthBriefing, Harry Bush, director of UK wealth for Nuveen, shared his thoughts on the private wealth market, active management, and the impact of artificial intelligence on wealth management. Bush noted that private clients seek income for retirement, traditionally delivered via public fixed income and equity, but there are other sources of income available, such as private credit, real estate, and farmland. He added that the poor performance of the 60/40 portfolio split between equities and bonds last year has made clients more open to these alternative sources of income to add robustness to their portfolios.
Regarding active management and the passive trend, Bush believes that being new to the market, Nuveen is in a unique position to offer active management without charging exorbitant fees. He explained that the absence of a back book of high fee-paying clients allows Nuveen to launch products to the market at competitive price levels.
Bush also noted that continuously high rates and volatility have historically diminished the value of passive allocations, but the growth of alternatives may mean continued interest in passives as clients allocate more of their fee budget to non-traditional markets such as private capital and real assets.
On the impact of artificial intelligence on wealth management, Bush believes that AI has been used in investment processes across the industry for several years and will continue to grow. He added that there are innovative technologies coming to the market, and Nuveen is monitoring these for ways to better serve its clients.