Fund firm Aberdeen Asset Management down €350m

Aberdeen Asset Management yesterday said total assets fell 3% to £302.7bn (€351m) in the first quarter of its financial year, as fresh outflows after the US election overshadowed market gains.

The investment management firm has been hit by persistent outflows from its funds on concerns about growth in emerging markets, and a fledgling recovery in sentiment in the early part of the quarter was snuffed out by the impact of the US election, it said.

“People are waiting to see what Trump does but if the economy in the US improves, the rest of the world will do well,”said chief executive Martin Gilbert.

Net outflows across all its products totalled £10.5bn, the company said in a statement, versus market gains of £3.3bn.

Aberdeen said that the bulk of the outflows were from lower margin products, and had been largely anticipated. The firm added that a further £2.4bn was scheduled to be withdrawn from lower-margin portfolios this quarter.

“Each of the company’s main divisions experienced outflows during the quarter, making it difficult to see where there could potentially be organic growth in the near term,” KBW analyst Jonathan Richards said.

“The first quarter’s outflows were greater than what was seen in any quarter in 2016.”

It marked the 15th consecutive quarter of outflows, for a cumulative figure of £104.6bn, said Shore Capital analyst Paul McGinnis.

The firm’s fixed income products saw the steepest drop in assets, £4.2bn, although part of this was the result of a decision to withdraw from managing several mandates, it said.

Despite the outflows, Aberdeen saw positive market gains across its equities, multi-asset, alternatives, quantitative and property products.

“We continue to make encouraging progress across all asset classes, with a healthy level of client interest and demand,” Mr Gilbert said.

“While growing interest in a number of our strategies is likely to continue to be masked, in the short term, by significant withdrawals by a small number of clients, I am encouraged by the progress being made.

“We continue to make encouraging progress across all asset classes, with a healthy level of client interest and demand.”

Aberdeen’s shares were down up to 4.5% in London yesterday, among the top fallers in a flat FTSE midcap index.


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