Fund giants top Lipper fund sales data

Investment giants Stuart Rhodes, Michael Hasenstab and the Standard Life Investments Global Absolute Return Strategies (Gars) team have come out as dominating forces in the European sales charts.

Data released by Lipper last week shows M&G Investments’ Mr Rhodes saw his Global Dividend fund rake in nearly €3.7bn (£3bn) in net sales for 2013, making it the most sold equity fund across Europe.

Meanwhile, Franklin Templeton’s Michael Hasenstab took the same honour in terms of the most-sold fixed income fund after registering more than €6.7bn in net sales for his Templeton Global Total Return fund while the team behind Standard Life Investments’ Gars fund saw net sales of €4.2bn.

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Other major milestones were hit by Polar Capital’s Japan fund, run by James Salter, which experienced net inflows of €2.3bn and M&G’s Richard Woolnough registered the second-best net sales in the fixed income category with €5.5bn.

Pimco’s GIS Income fund also featured but the group was deemed the “most notable omission” in the top-selling fund groups.

“In light of the bond tapering scare, recent poor performance of its flagship fund and the departure of chief investment officer/chief executive Mohamed El-Erian, it has slipped from number one in 2012 (€35bn) to outside the top 25 for 2013,” Lipper said.

The figures were released as part of a review of fund sales across the continent in 2013.

Net sales of mutual funds reached €183.5bn with €96bn into bond funds, €92bn into equity funds and €85bn into mixed-asset funds.

“This year stands in considerable contrast to 2012 which saw the complete domination of sales into bond funds,” Lipper said.

“While there is no substantial evidence that the bond bubble is bursting, 2013 was characterised by a considerable uptake in investor risk appetite which was reflected by more robust flows into equity funds.

“Equity sales increased in all major countries (with the notable exception of Germany with outflows of €6bn). For 2013 global and European equities were ranked third and fourth respectively with approximately €26bn of net sales.”

The data showed that while there was a “marked inflection point” in May and June when the US Federal Reserve first mentioned reducing the level of support it gives to the economy, investors still held on to bonds in large numbers.

“Interestingly, investors didn’t cash in their chips with bonds, but rather derisked within the sector – moving out of emerging market debt and local currency bonds into better rated global currency and western high-yield bonds,” the data provider revealed.

“Indeed, global currency debt came in at number two on the sales hit parade at €27bn and more nimble flexible bond funds taking nearly €24bn.”

There was also “considerable growth” into mixed asset funds, which Lipper said had proven to be “particularly popular” in the UK with €12bn – second for any individual country.

“The bulk of these mixed flows have come in via the cross-border funds (€37bn) showing that the trend may be geographically wider than mere regional sales suggest,” Lipper said.