Database searches of asset managers and asset classes rose substantially in Q2, a quarter that saw impressive gains in markets, writes Sean Thompson.
The year had started off with some positive market outlooks, but by March, this was quickly overshadowed by Covid-19. Markets plunged across the globe, leaving many investors with large losses in Q1 2020.
However, Q2 was an incredible quarter for investment markets. There were some impressive gains in both equities and bonds on the back of unprecedented levels of government and central bank support and, perhaps, investors believing that the worst of the pandemic was over.
The rally was even named the ‘Terminator’ rally by the Financial Times, as nothing seemed to be able to stop it – just like the well-known cyborg in the film!
During Q2 2020, CAMRADATA also saw an increase in investor search activity as sentiment changed and opportunities arose. The number of asset manager/asset class searches rose substantially and there was a huge increase in the number of analysis reports being carried out in order to review performance and rank asset managers. There was also an increase in manager research.
Allianz Global Investors was the most commonly searched asset manager in Global Equity; Wellington Management International Limited was the most-searched when it came to investors looking at global bonds; diversified growth funds was the most frequently searched multi-asset strategy with Aberdeen Standard Investments hitting the top spot and there were a number of searches carried out in alternatives, with various asset managers coming out on top, depending on asset class. The top managers included Winton Capital Management, Credit Suisse Asset Management, Man Group, LGT Capital Partners and S Muoio & Co.
In addition to these searches, CAMRADATA carried out 17 Assisted Searches during Q2 2020 on behalf of pension schemes, insurance firms and investment consultants, totalling circa £1.2 billion (€1.3 billion).
Asset classes were global tactical asset allocation, UK equities, distressed debt, index bonds, global equities, multi-asset, infrastructure, real estate, global credit, alternatives and a number of asset classes with a focus on ESG.
Whilst search activity remains strong, the investment outlook is still highly uncertain, especially in the short term, and the big question will be how the markets continue to fare due to volatility, a possible second wave of infections, and the economic pain caused as support is withdrawn. There is also the issue of political risk due to the US elections, Hong Kong’s instability, Brexit and US-China relations.
Sean Thompson is managing director of CAMRADATA, the owner of Funds Europe. All figures are for three months to June 30, 2020 unless otherwise stated.
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