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

    FUND FOCUS: Nordea 1 – European Covered Bond Fund

    What would you give for an actively managed bond fund that was at the low risk end of the spectrum and had beaten its benchmark in each of the last six years? Nordea does not have to look far to answer this question: it has one such product in its stable and, unsurprisingly, the Nordea European Covered Bond fund is …
  • November 2019Opinions & Features

    Launch trends year to date

    September saw a further 223 new funds come to market, together raising €8.2bn of net flows. The bond and equity asset classes each accounted for around €3bn of net flows, with mixed asset gathering around half that number. So far in 2019, fund launches have been responsible for €177bn of net flows – a significant number in a relatively steady …
  • October 2019Opinions & Features

    Models come to town

    Yet again, the launch train rolled on in August with a total of 142 new funds coming to market, together gathering over €7bn of assets. As usual, there were lots of new ESG offerings and Invesco continued to build out its ETF range. The most interesting launches for what they say about the industry and the direction products are taking …
  • 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 …