French smart beta manager Ossiam to double AUM this year

Paris2Paris-based Ossiam has crossed the €1 billion threshold in assets under management with three-quarters of that in smart beta exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Global assets under management for Ossiam, a smart beta specialist and affiliate of Natixis Global Asset Management, stood at €1.01 billion at November 11, 2013, and approximately €789 million of this was in smart beta Ucits ETFs. Around €225 million was in institutional segregated accounts and dedicated funds. Ossiam says it is on track to double assets under management this year, having started 2013 with €557 million. The firm’s minimum variance strategies investing in the US, Europe and emerging markets have been the most successful, as well as the Stoxx Europe 600 Equal Weight Strategy. Bruno Poulin, chief executive officer of Ossiam, says Ossiam’s approach is “particularly well perceived by institutional investors, including pension funds, fund-of-fund managers, balanced fund managers and discretionary managers at private banks”. A recent Funds Europe ETF roundtable heard from Neil Morgan, a senior pension trustee at Capita Asset Services, that UK pension schemes still favoured traditional passive funds over ETFs, though smart beta could change this. “For the vast majority of UK pension schemes, exposure to passive investment is through institutional pooled index funds provided by the key passive managers. There’s really no great appetite at all in the UK institutional space for ETFs – though it may be different for smart beta ETFs.” Fannie Wurtz, head of ETF sales in Europe at Amundi, told the roundtable that the situation in other parts of Europe was different. “In continental Europe, we see increasing usage by institutional clients, especially in the less mature markets in the south. Institutions in northern Europe already use them extensively and the market is a bit more mature,” she said. ©2013 funds europe

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