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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Liquid Alts Product Development Peak Has Passed

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

The peak of liquid alternatives product development has passed.

That's one finding included in FUSE's just-released Product Management & Development 2015 study. The report notes that product launches of new alternatives products peaked last year at 19 percent of all new mutual fund launches. Yet that doesn't mean alt fund launches will stop altogether.

Mike Evans
FUSE Research Network
Partner, President
"The numbers illustrate the continued interest in alternative products," the report reads. "While we anticipate continued demand and product development, we expect that the volume of new products will continue to moderate. Flows leveled off within the alternative mutual fund and EXT space in 2015."

Fuse's own Michael Evans and Cindy Zarker authored the report with independent consultant Kim Mitchell.

The big marketshare winners, as a percentage of mutual fund product development, look to be international equity mutual funds (and international equity ETFs). International equity products accounted for 23 percent of traditional open-end mutual fund launches in the first eight months of 2015, while traditional U.S. stock and taxable bond funds each accounted for about 20 percent.

Overall, fundsters debuted 291 new traditional mutual funds and 186 new ETFs in the first eight months of 2015. Fuse estimates that the industry is on track to launch about 400 mutual funds in total this year, the lowest level in six years but still well above the bottom of 311 funds in 2009.

"Once the market stabilizes and product teams can focus on innovation rather than defending existing shelf space, we expect the pace of new launches to remain robust," the authors write.

On the ETF side, Fuse estimates that the industry is on pace to launch 250 new ETFs this year, the second highest level ever behind the all-time peak of 307 new ETFs launched in 2011.

The eight-chapter report features Fuse's takes on: product development trends and opportunities; product development organization at the team level; building a product development team; product development strategy; and more. 

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