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Active asset management is back in town – fund flows January 2023
Investment Funds

Active asset management is back in town – fund flows January 2023

Important turnarounds and trends from the fourth quarter of last year manifested themselves further in European fund sales in January.
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Following a number of important turning points in European fund sales in the last quarter of 2022, the industry has been awaiting the January data rather anxiously.

First things first: Important turnarounds and trends from the fourth quarter of last year manifested themselves further in European fund sales in January. Active asset management is clearly back in town. After 9 painful months, active funds have now posted 3 months of net inflows, with a strongly accelerating pace. In January, active funds booked inflows worth EUR 26 billion. Yet, passive funds were still in the lead with net sales of EUR 28 billion. In terms of overall fund categories, fixed-income funds took the crown over the last 3 months and also in January. Nonetheless, equity funds also scored strongly. Total inflows across the European industry amounted to EUR 54 billion in January.

Interestingly, fixed income flows went largely into active funds, whilst equity fund flows were mainly captured by passive strategies. 

With regard to fund categories, Global Large-Cap Blend Equity was again the best-selling fund category in January with net inflows of EUR 8.3 billion, followed by Global Large-Cap Blend Equity (EUR 5.8 billion), Global Emerging Markets Equity (EUR 5.5 billion), Fixed Term Bond (EUR 5 billion) and Global Emerging Markets Bond (EUR 3 billion - including a EUR 1 billion flow into UBS’ MM Access II Emerging Markets Debt fund). Apart from those, other Corporate Bond categories and Asia Equity also scored highly in European net sales.

In terms of best-selling asset managers, iShares took the lead, largely benefiting from fixed income demand, with net sales of EUR 10 billion, followed by PIMCO, continuing its turnaround from November and December, with the net new money of EUR 3.12 billion. BlackRock (EUR 2.8 billion), JPMorgan (EUR 2.6 billion), and Vanguard (EUR 2 billion) followed. However, Schroders’, Fidelity’s, UBS’s, KBC’s and Alliance Bernstein’s return into the top 20 tables following strong 2022 outflows should also be mentioned. Spain’s Caixabank must also be highlighted having scored 6th this January and 8th in the overall 2022. 

Twenty fund groups posted net inflows larger than EUR 1 billion in January and 100 asset managers exceed net sales of EUR 100 million. On the other side of the spectrum, Eurizon suffered the highest outflows (EUR -2.2 billion), followed by Ruffer (EUR -1.1 billion), Natixis (EUR -939 million), Jupiter (EUR -522 million) and AXA (EUR -500 million). Also, Baillie Gifford and Janus Henderson, amongst others, remained in net negative territories. 

Our outlook for 2023 remains unchanged. In fact, the European fund flows data from January and many recent buy-side conversations strengthen our conviction that 2023 truly provides an attractive environment for active stock and bond-picking strategies. Expect respective reshuffling in fund sales leaderboards.

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