Only eight funds in the sector achieved a positive return during the worst period of the sell-off
Across Europe absolute return strategies are the asset class most fund selectors wanted to buy even before the recent rise in volatility in bond and equity markets, although the Dutch are not particularly keen on the strategy.
Alexander Darwall’s Jupiter European fund has piqued the most interest from advisers as its performance details were viewed almost 50% more times than second-most viewed fund Fundsmith – Equity in 2017, according to FE Analytics.
The French asset manager Amundi has attracted most net inflows from European investors year-to-date, narrowly beating Blackrock into second place. A resurgent Pimco saw the biggest amount of flows into active funds, according to Morningstar data.
Standard Life Investments (SLI) reported strong outflows from its GARS fund, the largest actively managed fund Ucits fund, on Friday. While the fund has failed to generate returns in recent years, some funds that have done even worse continue to generate big inflows, however.
Absolute return fund flows hit their lowest level in more than two years in November. Do the fading inflows suggest investors are losing patience with an asset class that is failing to deliver on its promises?
Multi-strategy absolute return funds have been a blockbuster seller with investors for the past few years. But these funds have so far not done what they promise. With one exception.
The three largest multi-strategy funds for sale in Europe have fared better than most other absolute return funds since the UK’s shock vote to leave the EU. However, the Standard Life GARS fund continues to underperform its peers on a longer-term basis.
The vast Gars fund remains the core of the SLI success story. We asked Phil Barker, the company’s head of global sales, what other horses he has in the race, and how he is meeting fund selectors’ needs to find differentiated funds
Rating firm Fundhouse has voiced concerns about the lack of diversified sources of return within SLI’s GARS fund.