The UK retail structured products market had a record year with more than 96% of plans that matured during 2023 delivering positive returns. Meanwhile, Barclays' US structured products sales volume reached over US$10 billion in 2023.

The UK retail structured products market recorded the highest number of plans issued in any year to date in 2023, according to research from Lowes Financial Management (LFM). According to its Five-Year Performance Review 2024, more than 96% of plans that matured during 2023 – some 608 out of a total of 629 – delivered positive returns for investors and only six returned a loss.

In a challenging market environment, particularly for active asset managers, demand for structured investment solutions decreased further in 2023

The study reveals that the 629 products maturing delivered an average annualised return of 6.51% over a term of 3.14 years, with upper and lower quartiles of 9.91% and 2.84%, respectively. The average return and upper quartile average were both the highest for the last five years.

Elsewhere in the earnings season, Vontobel posted a profit before tax of CHF262.7m (US$298m) in 2023, down two percent year-on-year (YoY).

In a challenging market environment, particularly for active asset managers, demand for structured investment solutions decreased further in 2023, the Swiss investment company stated. Advised client assets, which include structured products, reached CHF231.9 billion – up 2.3% YoY. As of end-December 2023, the outstanding volume of structured products and debt instruments issued was CHF9.6 billion (end-2022: CHF7.7 billion).

Amundi posted a net income of €1.2 billion (US$1.3 billion) for 2023, up 3.9% compared to the previous year. Net income for the fourth quarter reached €313m, an increase of 7.9% year-on-year (YoY).

The French asset manager’s AuM for structured products stood at €39 billion, up 25.7% YoY, as of 31 December 2023. SRP data shows it issued 37 structured products worth an estimated €8.9 billion in France, an increase of almost 54% by sales volume YoY.

HSBC Holdings’s profit before tax shrank 80% year-on-year (YoY) to only roughly US$1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2023 as the bank was hit by impairment charges related to its holding in a Chinese bank and the sales of its French retail banking businesses.

The UK bank's full-year earnings remained strong despite impairment charges curbing its profit in the fourth quarter. HSBC also remains among the top three issuers of structured products globally on the back of 7,865 products brought to market in Q4 23 with an estimated value of US$22.4 billion and 11% of the overall market share.

In the US market, some 168 of the 225 indices tracked by The Index Standard (TIS) posted a positive return, adding to the momentum for fixed index annuities (FIAs).

The dataset is live for at least one year with best-performers concentrated on the technology and US large-cap indices, according to TIS’s 2023 Index Report. Led by the Nasdaq 100 Price Return Index, the respective average annual return of the top 10 and top 50 indices used in FIAs came to 27.5% and 13.8% in 2023.

Barclays' US structured products sales volume reached US$10.2 billion in 2023 following a peak in the third quarter on the back of 2,851 new products, a robust recovery from the US$4.6 billion in 2022 which was marred by the over-issuance of securities.

The UK bank continued to deliver the largest average ticket size in the US market at US$3.6m, despite a slight decline from US$3.7m in 2022. In contrast, the top three issuers posted US$2.2m, US$2,7m and US$3.1m, respectively, in 2023.

At J.P. Morgan, following the appointment of Jason Sippel and Pranav Thakur as co-heads of the markets business within the commercial & investment bank (CIB) in late January the two senior executives have announced a new senior management team within the global markets team, according to a memo seen by SRP.

The US investment bank has expanded the responsibilities of several senior executives within the markets business including Rui Fernandes who is now head of markets trading structuring. Prior to this role, Fernandes was the global head of equities and credit structuring.

J.P. Morgan also announced the appointment of Rachid Alaoui who was most recently head of global equity derivatives trading, covering flow derivatives, exotics, corporate derivatives and convertible bond trading franchises has become the new head of global equities at the US investment bank.

Looking at Asia Pacific (Apac), MSCI appointed Shane Edwards as managing director, head of Australia and New Zealand client coverage, effective 19 February. Based in Sydney, he reports to Kazuya Nagasawa, head of Apac client coverage based in Hong Kong SAR.

Edwards has over two decades of industry experience running global sales and structuring teams. He joins MSCI from digital asset financial services and advisory company Diginex where he served as head of investment products since January 2020. Prior to Diginex, he was with UBS Investment Bank between 2012 and 2019, holding various senior roles in London, including global head of solutions and structuring and global head of equity derivatives (EQD).

In South Korea, the Financial Supervisory Service clarified its role as the authority preparing the compensation plan for financial losses for those investors who purchased equity-linked securities (ELS) linked to the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index (HSCEI).

In an update released on 20 February, the Korean financial watchdog stated it is in charge of matters related to the mediation of financial-related disputes arising in accordance with the Financial Consumer Protection Act.

In India, InCred Money, a retail wealth-tech arm of financial service firm InCred Group, has listed a second market-linked debenture (MLD) on its platform as the South Asia country’s equities continued to rally. The latest launch follows the Securities and Exchange Board of India's (Sebi) new policy that reduced the minimum investment amount of MLDs to INR one lakh starting January 2023.

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