This month it’s mid-year report card time for the European funds industry. Six months into 2019 and it has certainly been an interesting year so far for both markets and investors, with a heady mix of geopolitical tensions, monetary easing from central banks and a hangover from 2018’s market volatility giving investors much to ponder. The sales tap seemed to be turned fully back on in June with net sales of long-term funds in Europe hitting their highest total (€26bn) since the last bull run ended in January 2018. So are investors finally emerging from their shells? It is certainly a bonanza time for bonds as the asset class recorded €31bn of net inflows in June and €134bn year to date. With bond houses basking in the demand for riskier credit, both PIMCO and BlackRock retained their position at the top of the flows leaderboard in June, with net sales of €6.8bn and €4.6bn respectively. At market level, cross-border and Germany have welcomed plentiful inflows so far this year – but it has been a miserable time in the UK.
Our biannual review of the drivers of industry change shows fund buyers continue to see pricing pressure as the primary change driver.