Active Managers Increasingly Market International Equity Strategies

The latest issue of The Cerulli Edge—U.S. Monthly Product Trends Edition analyses mutual fund and exchange-traded fund (ETF) product trends as of July 2019.

Highlights from this research:

• More active asset managers are marketing international and global equity strategies to institutional investors based on valuations and the value they could add, particularly in emerging markets and international small-cap equities. Cerulli finds that institutions are increasingly open to international and global equities, though managers continue to face competition from passively managed strategies, particularly in larger, developed markets.

• Mutual funds added positive net flows of $6.1 billion during July, amounting to organic growth of 0.04%. Total mutual fund growth was 0.4%, as assets climbed to just less than $15.5 trillion. ETF assets closed July 2019 above $4 trillion, marking the first month end the vehicle has exceeded that threshold. Investors added flows of $21.6 billion during July, equal to organic growth of 0.5%.

• An area where asset managers are realising value from technology is investment in technologies that centralise data and automate reporting for their sales and client services groups. In conversations with Cerulli, request for proposal (RFP) managers have often mentioned the need for centralised databases so they can limit the amount of lag time required when pulling data from various sources throughout the firm. Technology platforms are also employed as a service tool for clients, particularly by managers operating as an outsourced chief investment officer (OCIO). A technological platform that gives clients greater access to their portfolio and streamlines the communication between the two organisations can be a key tool for an asset manager to retain that client.

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