Recent articles by: Barbara Wall
  • September 2019Opinions & Features

    Snakes and ladders

    BlackRock regained its crown in July, nearly doubling last month's sales haul to leave a yawning chasm between nearest competitors PIMCO and AB/Axa. The flow leaderboard was particularly concentrated this month, with only six master groups posting sales in excess of €1bn, compared to ten in June. Large US firms dominated but within that cohort Fidelity stood out, as it …
  • September 2019Market Focus

    Roaring back

    After flirting with the red zone in June, exchange traded funds (ETFs) powered back into the black in July, adding €12.7bn to the cross-border long-term funds tally. Surprisingly, equity ETF flows surpassed bond ETF sales this month, but the turbo boost wasn't quite strong enough to propel total equity sales into positive territory. Bruising redemptions from active funds didn't help. …
  • August 2019Opinions & Features

    My word is my bond

    Summer time and the living is easy, especially for those who run popular fixed income funds. In June, bond houses basked in demand for riskier credit strategies and it didn’t take much for fixed income heavyweights PIMCO and BlackRock to maintain their top positions in the flows leaderboard with solid net sales of €6.8bn and €4.6bn respectively. But it …
  • August 2019Market Focus

    Break for the border

    The sigh of relief was almost palpable as bruising cross-border redemptions from long-term mutual funds in May gave way to bumper flows of €19.4bn in June, bringing the year-to-date sales total to €33.8bn. However, celebrations are likely to be low key as the spectre of uncertainty continues to stalk international fund houses – many of which are reliant on …
  • July 2019Opinions & Features

    David and Goliath

    When push comes to shove, the minnows of asset management can still hold their own. While they might struggle to shift the titans from their lofty perches, small groups can often react quickly to new trends or unexpected market events. Nimbleness is one attribute the big hitters lack and it can pay dividends when flows stagnate. It is always reassuring …
  • July 2019Market Focus

    Battening down the hatches

    The cross-border market is used to excess, enjoying strong sales when sentiment is riding high and suffering crunching redemptions as confidence plummets. May flows fell into the latter category, with international funds recording redemptions of €11.4bn. While not as humbling as the drubbing received in December, it was nonetheless the first month of outflows this year, excluding money market funds. …
  • June 2019Opinions & Features

    Group Profile: Vontobel

    Whether by accident or design Vontobel Asset Management has maintained a fairly low profile since it was spun off from Bank Vontobel AG in December 2014. Although still owned by the Swiss private bank,which also runs wealth management and investment banking divisions, Vontobel AM operates independently. While the money manager has strong brand recognition in its domestic market, it has …
  • June 2019Opinions & Features

    Under the radar

    While the top-20 sales chart can often provide a useful monthly snapshot of successful launches, asset class expertise or one-off corporate actions, casting the net wider affords us a broader picture of shifting competitor dynamics and more nuanced sector flows. Outside of April's leader board a number of groups had plenty to celebrate.When one asset class or strategy dominates flow …