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Investors pull £933m from Gars in August

Investors pull £933m from Gars in August

Investors withdrew £933m from the Aberdeen Standard Investments Global Absolute Return Strategies (Gars) fund in August as Absolute Return funds continued to fall out of favour.

According to data from Morningstar the Gars fund had assets of £6.9bn at the end of August and £15bn in November 2018 when Aymeric Forest became lead fund manager replacing retiring Guy Stern. 

Performance has been relatively strong over the past year, with its 4.6 per cent return placing it among the top 25 per cent of funds in the IA Targeted Return sector in that time period. 

But Absolute Return funds have fallen far from favour with UK clients over the past year, with investors pulling £1.2bn from funds in the sector between March and June alone.

The Morningstar data showed investors fled alternative investments generally in August, withdrawing £1.5bn. 

The broader picture to emerge from the Morningstar data during August was that investors are turning to defensive asset classes.

Fixed Income funds had net inflows of £1.3bn, while investors pulled £1.7bn from equities during the month. 

Total outflows from UK funds in August were £1.6bn. 

Bavik Parekh, associate analyst at Morningstar, said: “A trend has developed over the past five to six months in which investors have pulled money from equity, alternative, and property funds and invested in allocation, fixed-income, and money market funds.

"Investor sentiment remains low, with no clarity on the outcome of Brexit and wider concerns of a global slowdown.”

david.thorpe@ft.com