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Rating:A Startup Within a Giant Rakes In $408MM In a Month Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Monday, April 20, 2020

A Startup Within a Giant Rakes In $408MM In a Month

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

A startup within a big mutual fund firm had a big March.

Eduardo A. Repetto
Avantis Investors
Chief Investment Officer
This article draws from Morningstar Direct data on March 2020 open-end mutual fund and ETF flows, excluding money-market funds and funds of funds. More specifically, this article focuses on the 536 firms (up from 513 in February) with less $1 billion each in fund AUM. 229 of those firms gained net inflows in Q1, and only 180 did in March, down from 240 in February.

American Century's Avantis Investors brought in an estimated $424 million in net inflows in Q1, more than any other sub-$1-billion-AUM fund firm. Other big Q1 inflows winners included: U.S. Global Investors, $306 million; Toroso, $275 million; James Alpha Advisors, $247 million; and Spyglass Capital Management, $225 million.

Proportionately, Alpha Fiduciary led the smallest fund firm pack, with estimated net Q1 inflows equivalent to 156.6 percent of its AUM. (In other words, per M* estimates, Alpha Fiduciary's Q1 inflows dwarfed its AUM at the end of Q1.) Other big Q1 inflows winners included: Absolute Investment Advisers, 120.7 percent; Standpoint Asset Management, 100 percent; Toros, 95.8 percent; and Lebenthal, 82.8 percent.

In March alone, Avantis led the pack with an estimated $408 million in net inflows. Other big March inflows winners included: U.S. Global Investors, $311 million (up from $9 million in net February outflows); Spyglass, $174 million (up from $33 million); Liberty Street, $109 million (up from $22 million); and Toroso, $104 million (up from $55 million).

Proportionately, setting aside two apparent newcomers (Esoterica Capital and Wrona Investment Management), Lebenthal led the smallest fund firm pack in March, with estimated net inflows equivalent to 82.7 percent of its AUM, up from negligible net February inflows. Other big March inflows winners included: Advisory Research, 75.1 percent (up from 3.3 percent in net outflows); Infusive, 62.3 percent (up from 36.3 percent); Absolute Investment Advisers, 62.3 percent (up from 51.7 percent); and Xsquare Capital, 54.4 percent (up from 26.2 percent).

On the flip side, Q1 was rough for CRM, which suffered an estimated $487 million in net outflows, more than any other sub-$1-billion-AUM fund firm. Other big Q1 outflows sufferers included: Chiron, $409 million; Highland, $240 million; TWM, $203 million; and Sound Shore, $159 million.

Proportionately, TWM led the smallest fund firm pack in Q1, thanks to estimated net outflows equivalent to 1,080.2 percent of its AUM. (In other words, its AUM at the end of the quarter was about one-tenth of the amount of flows that left during the quarter.) Other big Q1 outflows sufferers included: Pacific Advisors Funds, 365.2 percent; Syntax, 188.9 percent; Argent, 174.1 percent; and Strategy Shares, 164 percent.

In March alone, Chiron led the pack with an estimated $252 million in net outflows, up from $106 million in February. Other big March outflows sufferers included: TWM, $252 million (up from $2 million); Muzinich, $203 million (down from $37 million in net inflows; FormulaFolios, $131 million (up from $3 million); and 361, $109 million (up from $6 million).

Proportionately, TWM suffered the most, thanks to estimated net March outflows equivalent to 1,088.8 percent, up from 0.6 percent in February. Other big March outflows sufferers included: Pacific, 322.8 percent (up from 4.1 percent); Argent, 171 percent (up from negligible outflows); Strategy Shares, 140.1 percent (up from 2.4 percent); and FormulaFolios, 121 percent (up from 1 percent).

As a group, the 536 fund firms with less than $1 billion each in fund AUM suffered an estimated $1.832 billion in net Q1 outflows, equivalent to 1.92 percent of their combined AUM and 0.8 percent of net industry outflows. (Those firms account for 0.56 percent of industry AUM.)

In March alone, the smallest fund firms suffered an estimated $2.009 billion in net outflows, equivalent to 2.1 percent of their combined AUM and accounting for 0.62 percent of net industry outflows. That's down from $140 million in net February inflows, equivalent to 0.15 percent of their combined AUM.

Across the entire industry, the 770 fund firms (one more than in February) tracked by the M* team suffered a combined $223.83 billion in net Q1 outflows, equivalent to 1.31 percent of their combined AUM. 291 firms gained net Q1 inflows.

In March alone, the industry suffered an estimated $326.378 billion in net outflows, equivalent to 1.91 percent of its AUM and down from $25.459 billion in net February inflows. Active funds suffered an estimated $309.808 billion in net March outflows (down from $11.675 billion in February inflows), and even passive funds suffered an estimated $16.57 billion in net March outflows (down from $13.784 billion in February inflows). 

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