Recent articles by: Chris Chancellor, CFA
  • September 2019Opinions & Features

    ESG takeover?

    Despite gloom about sales and ongoing revenue pressure, July, in keeping with every other month, saw plenty of new launches, with the red thread running through all of them being ESG. Two of the largest launches were environmentally aware money market funds from BlackRock, while 39 of the 210 launches were tagged as Responsible Investing ('RI') funds, together raising over …
  • August 2019Opinions & Features

    Fund Focus: Vanguard Life Strategy Fund Range – one stop shop

    Investment is often said to be made hugely complex, but if that is so then Vanguard is bucking the trend. It has five LifeStrategy Funds which are hoovering up assets in the UK – a fund market which has been in the red for some time. It is benefitting from the changes in the distribution landscape that began in 2013 …
  • August 2019Opinions & Features

    Launch lifeline

    2018 was a year to forget and 2019 is shaping up in a similar way. Overall, flows are keeping their head above water, but bonds are doing all the work, with a little help from property and in-house funds of funds (see profile of one of the leaders below). When flows are low, launches stand out and have an outsized …
  • July 2019Opinions & Features

    An over abundance of small funds

    While Europe has been cleaning up its act and reducing the number of funds it has, progress remains very slow. At the end of 2018 there were 34,642 funds with assets in Europe and that number has fallen by just, 53 to 34,589, at the end of May. This leaves Europe with a small fund problem as over 20,000 of …
  • June 2019Opinions & Features

    April showers, green shoots

    April brought another shower of product launches to the market, 177 to be precise, which generated €7bn in new net sales. Equity was responsible for the most launches, but bonds raised the most money; mixed assets were again a laggard. Thirty-two of the launches were ESG focused and, unusually, fixed income was the leader here, with 12 funds. Some were …
  • May 2019Opinions & Features

    Fund Profile: Flossbach Multiple Opportunities

    Flossbach Multiple Opportunities and Multiple Opportunities II are two versions of the same fund. The first is an AIF and the second is a Ucits. In reality, they are extremely similar if not exactly the same; therefore they are analysed together as one fund for the purposes of this profile. A multi asset fund investing across a range of asset …
  • May 2019Opinions & Features

    First quarter flurry

    The first quarter may have been marked by flat sales overall but fund launches continued unabated. Year to date, there have been 588 new funds coming to market in Europe. Together these launches have generated €48bn of net sales, thus dwarfing the overall flow in the market. At the headline level it is equity which has been the winner, gathering …
  • April 2019Opinions & Features

    Mediocre mixed assets

    In just 19 working days in February, product developers brought 176 products to market – an average of nine per day. Together these launches raised €15bn. This was further boosted by the range of ACCESS funds (the funds for local government pension schemes in the UK). The five equity funds launched by this group raised €6bn as money was transferred …