Fund Births and Deaths of 2015

Last year saw the creation of 172 new funds in the UK and the end of 141 funds as the asset management industry strove to meet investors' needs

Jeremy Beckwith 3 February, 2016 | 8:55AM
Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

Aberdeen Asset Management was the most active firm of 2015, topping the lists of both new funds and closed funds. Aberdeen launched 21 new funds and closed or merged 28 funds. Their new fund launches encompassed a range of Multi-Asset funds, a global suite of enhanced index equity funds and a slew of bond funds. In November 2014, following its acquisition of the SWIP business from Lloyds Bank, most SWIP branded funds were renamed to become Aberdeen funds. Of the 28 funds closed in 2015, 20 were merged into other Aberdeen funds.

Of the 172 new launches, 75, or 43%, are in one of Morningstar’s Allocation categories, where investments across different asset classes are held. This continues the trend seen in recent years for fund managers to offer such funds rather than single asset-class specific funds. Of the others, 62 are equity funds and 23 are fixed income funds. Within the equity sector, the largest category (30%) is global equity, including global equity income, funds.

Of the fixed income funds, just over half are classified as Diversified, Flexible or Global. Even within asset classes, it appears that fund managers are seeking wider mandates in their newly launched funds.

In addition to Aberdeen’s changes, corporate events also led to a number of other fund closures. Most of the funds in the SLI Ignis range were merged into existing SLI funds, following the 2014 acquisition of Ignis by Standard Life.

Additionally, the range of Threadneedle multi-manager funds were transferred to, and subsequently merged into, 7IM’s funds range. In June Martin Currie merged their international equity fund range into their parent, Legg Mason’s UK ICVC range, which also includes funds from Legg Mason’s other subsidiaries.

In general funds are closed due to lack of investor interest, but one unusual exception last year was the GLG Technology Equity fund where the co-managers resigned from GLG and it was decided to close the fund rather than seek new managers.

Morningstar’s Alternatives fund category saw eight new funds launched but also eight funds closed. Flows in to the Category have been very strong but these have been into the existing large, multistrategy funds such as Standard Life Investments GARS and Invesco Global Targeted Return.

This article was first published in Investment Week

The information contained within is for educational and informational purposes ONLY. It is not intended nor should it be considered an invitation or inducement to buy or sell a security or securities noted within nor should it be viewed as a communication intended to persuade or incite you to buy or sell security or securities noted within. Any commentary provided is the opinion of the author and should not be considered a personalised recommendation. The information contained within should not be a person's sole basis for making an investment decision. Please contact your financial professional before making an investment decision.

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

About Author

Jeremy Beckwith  is Director of Manager Research for Morningstar UK