Asset managers struggling in ‘fragile’ markets – report

Markets continued to offer only difficult conditions in Q2, giving up much of the gains registered in Q1, according to CAMRADATA’s latest IQ report.

Investors opted for the safety of sovereign bonds from those nations perceived to be more secure, sending yields down. By its nature, corporate credit was somewhere between the two.

However, some managers are still delivering positive returns.

Aberdeen Asset management made it into the top five performing managers for four universes, an improvement on the first quarter of the year, when they achieved that feat in three universes, the report revealed.

AllianceBernstein made a good showing, too, with top-five placing in three universes, compared to two for the previous quarter.

Pyramis Global Advisors put in a noteworthy performance, featuring highly in the Emerging Markets asset classes. They differentiated themselves against the benchmark in equities and generated a persistent margin on their Fixed Income fund target.

Fifth Third won out in the Multi-Asset universe with strong returns adjusted for risk. In general, returns widened with a range running from -0.1% to 16.2%, an overall reduction compared to the first quarter.

Despite this, managers maintained a similar risk profile against a backdrop of continuing volatility in equities, posting a median level of absolute risk at 8.2%.

CAMRADATA founder and managing director Steve Butler said: “Managers always pull out the stops for their clients. Despite continuing anxiety over market conditions, our latest report makes it clear that asset managers remain focused on creating returns, however difficult the economy.”

Eurozone instability meant European Fixed Income median return fell from 12.2% in the last quarter to 8.2% this time. The see-saw of more risk leading to higher reward over the last three years made life difficult for managers to break free from the pack; although Pioneer’s consistent, relative returns were highlighted.

CAMRADATA Analytical Services is part of the Punter Southall Group, which includes CAMRADATA Live, a database of more than 4,000 investment products provided by 600-plus asset managers to around 600 European institutional investors and their advisors.

See the full report here: CAMRADATA IQ Q2 2012


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