Date: Thursday 19 Jan 2012
Investment firm Aberdeen Asset Management saw assets under management (AUM) rise in the final quarter, despite a net outflow of funds.
Assets under management ("AuM") of £173.9 billion at 31 December 2011 were 2.4% higher than at 30 September 2011. The company won £7.8bn of new business in the quarter, down from the £9.1bn won in the preceding quarter, but this was outweighed by nervous customers pulling out their money; net outflows of £2.8bn were higher than the third quarter's outflows of £1.7bn.
"New business flows remain focused on our higher margin pooled funds with outflows largely limited to lower margin strategies. Revenues continue to improve steadily while costs remain under control," informed Martin Gilbert, Chief Executive of Aberdeen.
Equities remain the favoured investment of Aberdeen's customers, with the asset manager seeing continued investor appetite for emerging market and global equity products. The major outflows have been principally from Aberdeen's lower margin asset classes such as fixed income and Aberdeen solutions (formerly known as Alternative Investment Strategies).
The fixed income flows were adversely affected by the loss during the quarter of one large, lower margin global mandate. However, Aberdeen said it continues to see encouraging investor appetite for its higher margin Asian and emerging market debt capabilities.
Aberdeen said its equity teams continued to do a bang-up job in the fourth quarter of 2011 while in fixed income, all of its major strategies are ahead of their benchmarks over a three-year period, but over a one-year period, performance in the traditional strategies has been more mixed. On the other hand, performance has been robust in the group's leading local currency Asian and emerging market debt products.
"Broadly, our property mandates are meeting clients' objectives. Within solutions our multi-asset products have performed well over all key time periods, while our core fund of hedge funds vehicles also continue to perform well," the company revealed.
Looking ahead, uncertainty is expected to remain a key feature this year. Even so, Gilbert expressed confidence that Aberdeen's "unerring focus on fundamentals rather than market noise will continue to deliver for our clients over the long term."
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