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Investors pull £4bn from Schroders funds

Investors pull £4bn from Schroders funds

Investors withdrew £4bn from funds run by Schroders in the year to the end of November, according to data from Morningstar.

The data shows Schroders had the largest net outflows of any UK fund house during November, with £1.2bn leaving the company.

Just more than half of these outflows were the result of the closure of a single fund, the Schroders Reliance Mutual Balanced fund, which had assets of £620m when the company liquidated it.  

The £4bn net outflows in the 12 months to the end of November is broadly in line with the £4.6bn outflow for the 2018 calendar year, which Schroders itself reported in its annual accounts.

In the 2017 calendar year the company had net inflows of more than £9bn, according to its accounts.

A Schroders spokesman said the data relates to its European business, and as the company is listed and in its close period, it is unable to comment in detail on the current level of fund flows into the business.

The representative added: "We are pleased with the development of our pan-European business which includes recently announced strategic acquisitions such as impact investment manager BlueOrchard and real estate specialist Blue Asset Management, both based in continental Europe."

The outflows from funds run by Invesco continued in November, with £956m leaving the company.

The outflows were concentrated on three products, the Invesco Global Targeted Return fund had outflows of £200m, while the Invesco High Income fund, run by embattled fund manager Mark Barnett, had an outflow of £318m. 

This marks the third consecutive month where outflows from the Henley-based fund house reached around £1bn.

The broader trend in the market in November was for investors to move into riskier assets. 

Equity funds attracted net new money of £708m, while money market funds, which are very defensive as they simply invest in cash, had outflows of £367m.

This reverses the trends of the rest of thee past year, in which equities have had outflows of £16bn, and money market funds have had inflows of over £3bn. 

Tom Sparke, investment director at GDIM, a discretionary fund management firm in Cambridge, said investors were more optimistic going into 2020 than they were for most of 2019.

He said: "I think there is a renewed sense of optimism over many of the factors that investors were fearful of in 2019. 

"The prospects for global trade look easier with a tentative US-China trade deal, economic data is turning upward in many areas and central banks have strongly indicated that they won’t be rocking the boat with interest rate rises in the near future.

"Against this backdrop, the outlook for risk assets seems more rosy and I think this has lured some money in from the sidelines.” 

david.thorpe@ft.com

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