Although huge, all conquering, dollar-scooping behemoths of asset management would also seem to work.
Towers Watson and Pensions & Investments have counted up money manager dollars world-wide, once again, and when it comes to size, passive investment products are (almost) the only game in town. Read more
The latest monthly performance figures for the hedge fund industry are out — and those funds still breathing had a good-ish month, up 1.6 per cent on average in September, according to HFR.
September performance was led by Equity Hedge strategies, with the HFRI Equity Hedge Index gaining +2.6 per cent, also the strongest month since January and bringing performance for the first three quarters of 2013 to a gain of +9.2 per cent, leading all hedge fund strategy indices.
But performance ain’t so hot as that put out by the industry’s legions of undead predecessors. Those cautious equity hedge funds have put up less than half the return for the S&P 500 this year. Read more
Vanguard Group, among the largest managers of US retail savings, has delayed plans for three funds specialising in municipal bonds as yields in the market jump to the highest level in two years, the FT reports. FT Alphaville says this is a safe decision, and one that reveals a little bit about the oft-misunderstood muni-bond market. As a post by Bond Buyer’s Dan Seymour explains, muni ETFs have recently been trading below the indexes they were built to track.
Here’s a novel solution to the problem of money market funds `breaking the buck’ in periods of financial stress and low interest rates — get rid of the `buck.’
From the Wall Street Journal: Read more
Goldman Sachs is working on a bid for iShares, the securities lending and exchange-traded funds business being auctioned by Barclays. Bids, due by Friday, could put a value ofup to $6.5bn on iShares. Goldman and at least three other parties have expressed interest in iShares including buy-out group Bain Capital and a consortium led by Hellman & Friedman. Fund manager Vanguard is also thought to be interested.
In case you missed these stories:
Macro hedge funds show double-digit returns
Hedge funds that place bets based on views of the global economic outlook are the only categories of the investment vehicles to have racked up double-digit returns so far this year. These so-called macro hedge funds have shown returns of more than 12%, outperforming the S&P500 index by about 17%. Read more
Investors poured $96bn in new money into Vanguard funds in 2007, making it the biggest-selling fund company in the US and ending American Funds’ six-year run at the top. Vanguard’s inflows took its assets under management to $1,300bn. It last held the lead in new business in 2001, ceding to American Funds from 2002. Final figures for 2007 have not yet been compiled, but American Funds – part of Capital Group – is believed to have brought in about $90bn, falling just short of Vanguard’s tally. Vanguard benefited from strong inflows into money market funds – it is one of the biggest operators – as risk-averse investors tried to secure their cash. American Funds, which has $1,000bn under management, does not have a strong presence in money market funds. Vanguard also attributed the banner year to the company’s strong push into the booming exchange-traded funds market.
Vanguard, the US-based fund management mutual, is considering a possible UK expansion that could trigger a price war for retail investors. It has been contacting independent financial advisers over the past year to find out what types of Vanguard products their clients would be interested in buying and what fee level they would expect. Separately, profits rose sharply last year at Amvescap, the Anglo-American fund manager, despite continued outflows from its funds.