The sun is shining brightly this morning here at my personal HQ in Glasgow (I’m lying, of course), but in the European fund industry it is still somewhat hidden behind the clouds. That, at least, is what latest monthly figures from the fund research firm Lipper FMI suggest. This time last year, the global financial crisis was starting to bite for real and Lipper FMI reported some of the worst redemption figures the European fund industry had ever seen. In June 2008, European fund assets dropped by a stonking -€240bn and net redemptions totalled -€33bn. One might expect better things from the June 2009 figures – and they are better, but not that much better.

The latest industry statistics can perhaps best be described as mealy-mouthed. They hint at a recovery, but it’s nothing to write home about. Net inflows into long-term funds slowed, but remained positive at €4bn for bonds funds and €7bn for equity funds. However, money market funds saw net redemptions of €22bn (mainly due to cyclical exits in France), which dragged the monthly total into the red to the tune of -€8bn.

From these figures, Lipper FMI draws lessons about the shape of the recovery. “In the alphabet soup of recovery options the consensus, certainly amongst investors, seemed to favour the ‘W’-shaped option (rather than L-U or V) and although money continued to flow into higher risk funds, the brakes were softly applied,” the research firm says.

Up and down, in other words, instead of just up.

But if the sun is hiding from the industry as a whole, it is most definitely shining on Carmignac Gestion. For the second month in a row the Paris-based firm topped Lipper FMI’s European investment fund net-inflow table with net sales of €2.1bn. The French firm also led the field for the first half of 2009 with half-yearly net inflows of €7.5bn.

And if you’re not Carmignac and would still like some sunshine in your life, you might like to consider ‘investing in sunshine’. According to Ralf Klesy, CEO KuK Marketing-Services, interest in ‘sunny investments’ – ie investment pools that invest in solar and photovoltaic installations – has increased sharply recently. The main markets are Spain, Italy, Portugal and Greece, but KuK is now bringing these sun-filled investment pools, which mainly have a closed form, to the less sun-drenched German-speaking countries.

“The solar market has a secure future,” says Klesy, whose firm specialises in introducing investment and financial product suppliers to the German-speaking markets. “Thanks to rising demand and steadily improving technology, it will offer high-returning investment opportunities for decades to come.”   Fiona Rintoul, editorial director
©2009 funds europe

Executive Interviews

INTERVIEW: Put your money where your mouth is

Jun 10, 2016

At Kempen Capital Management, they believe portfolio managers should invest in their own funds. David Stevenson talks to Lars Dijkstra, CIO of the €42 billion manager.

EXECUTIVE INTERVIEW: ‘Volatility is the name of the game’

May 13, 2016

Axa Investment Managers chief executive officer, Andrea Rossi, talks to David Stevenson about bringing all his firm’s subsidiaries under one name and the opportunities that a difficult market...


ROUNDTABLE: Beyond the hype

Oct 13, 2016

The use of smart beta investing continues to grow. Our panel, made up of both providers and users, discusses what the strategy actually means, how it should be used and the kind of pitfalls that may arise when using this innovative investment technique.

MIFID II ROUNDTABLE: Following the direction of travel

Sep 07, 2016

Fund management firms Aberdeen and HSBC Global meet with specialist providers to speak about how the industry is evolving towards MiFID II.