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Thursday, March 14, 2019

Small Fund Firms' Flows Fall 50 Percent

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

Small fund firms' inflows plunged by more than 50 percent last month as a group, even as industrywide inflows rose 38 percent.

This article draws from Morningstar Direct data on February 2019 ETF and open-end mutual fund flows (excluding money-market funds and funds of funds). This article focuses specifically on the 154 firms with between $1 billion and $10 billion in AUM each (in mutual funds and ETFs). 83 of those firms gained net inflows in February, down from 91 in January.

Milleis Investissements Funds led the small fund firm pack last month, bringing in an estimated $319 million in net February inflows, up from $91 million in net outflows in January. Other big February inflows winners include: Pacer, $293 million (up from $230 million); Mirae (including Global X), $268 million (up from $119 million); Ashmore, $210 million (up from $74 million); and Fuller & Thaler, $184 million (up from $87 million).

Proportionately, Fuller & Thaler won the small fund firm race, with estimated net February inflows equivalent to 14.09 percent of its AUM, down from 8.08 percent in January. Other big February inflows winners include: ETF Managers Trust, 11.19 percent (down from 13.71 percent); Pacer, 7.71 percent (up from 6.58 percent); RiverNorth, 6.99 percent (up from 1.8 percent); and Ashmore, 6.54 percent (up from 2.46 percent).

On the flip side, February was a rough month for Boston Partners, which suffered an estimated $352 million in net outflows, more than any other small fund firm and up from $209 million in January. Other big February outflows sufferers include: Tweedy Browne, $198 million; Payden, $195 million (down from $237 million in net inflows); Kornitzer's Buffalo, $158 million (up from $61 million); and Manning & Napier, $141 million (down from $360 million).

Proportionately, Wilshire led the small firm outflows pack last month, with estimated net February outflows equivalent to 5.74 percent of its AUM, up from 1.65 percent in January. Other big February outflows sufferers include: Vulcan Value Partners, 4.2 percent; Westwood, 4.16 percent; Buffalo, 4.05 percent; and James Advantage, 4.04 percent.

As a group, the 154 small fund firms brought in an estimated $1.709 billion in net inflows in February, equivalent to 0.34 percent of their combined AUM and accounting for 3.18 percent of net industrywide inflows. That's down from $3.465 billion in net small fund firm inflows in January (which accounted for 8.9 percent of net industrywide inflows).

Across the entire industry (M* tracks flows from 782 firms), long-term mutual funds and ETFs brought in a combined $53.664 billion in estimated net inflows in February, equivalent to 0.29 percent of industry AUM. Passive funds brought in $42.184 billion in February inflows, while active funds brought in $11.48 billion. 

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