Aberdeen registers interest in wider offering

Aberdeen Asset Management saw its assets fall by nearly £10 billion (€11.7 billion) in the last quarter of 2016, but said some outflows were predicted and there was growing interest in its wider offering.

Assets under management were £302.7 billion at year-end, compared to £312.1 billion three months earlier.

The company saw £10.5 billion of net outflows through the quarter, the bulk being in low margin business and “anticipated”.

However, gross inflows were higher than the period before: £10.2 billion compared to £8.4 billion.

Martin Gilbert (pictured), chief executive of Aberdeen, described the firm as being in overall “good shape”.

“Investor sentiment had been improving steadily in the early part of the quarter, but stalled following the US presidential election result with investors putting asset allocation decisions on hold. Encouragingly, despite the market volatility our equity strategies produced strong returns for the year.”

Gilbert said there would be significant withdrawals by a small number of clients in the short term, and that this would mask growing interest in the company’s other strategies.

Aberdeen is strongly associated with emerging markets, an area in which it has seen large outflows in recent years.

Campbell Fleming, global head of distribution at the firm, told ‘Funds Europe’ in our ‘Global Industry Report’ recently that it was important for the firm to remind people of its other large capabilities.

“People probably know us as an emerging markets house but we run almost as much money in active quant as we do in emerging markets equities and bonds. We also have a massive ‘solutions’ capability, over £100 billion (€120 billion). The reality is, we have everything from real assets to active quant,” he said.

In the latest quarter the company’s net £10.5 billion outflow was partly offset by £3.3 billion asset appreciation. There was also a £2.2 billion reduction in assets due to “rationalization” of its US fixed income business.

©2017 funds europe

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