By September this year, equity funds had €2.31trn in assets under management, slightly less than the corresponding figure for bonds funds of €2.72trn. Equity funds made a quick recovery from the financial crisis in 2009 with AuM growing by 74% from March 2009 to March 2010, before net outflows hit the industry again in June 2011 on the back of the euro crisis. It took equity funds 20 months to recover to its pre-crisis level of aggregate assets (see chart below).
However, since then growth has resumed, with total assets under management expanding each month since May 2012, prompting the question when the next crisis is in store. Bond funds’ aggregate AuM has risen in a more steady fashion without dramatic ups and downs, though the pace of asset growth accelerated significantly in the final quarter of 2011, heralding a golden age for bond funds. Between November 2011 and April 201 total bond fund AuM grew by 42%.
Mixed funds: slower but steady growth
Funds composed of a mix between equities and bonds show a more consistent, albeit slower asset growth than bond and equity funds separately. Since January 2009, AuM has grown by 87% to €2.08trn. Though the pace of growth has somewhat increased in the past year or so and banks in some European countries are increasingly channelling their customers towards multi-asset investments, there is not yet a big ‘rush’ to multi-asset funds to be seen.