Manager Intelligence and Market Trends

February 2018

bfinance’s quarterly report in February 2018: read the team’s latest insights on institutional investor activity, risk appetite, market developments and asset manager performance across all major asset classes.

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Investor appetite: The bfinance Risk Aversion Index surged in 2015 and hit a six-year peak in June 2016. Yet all four quarters of 2017 were marked by successively higher risk appetite, notwithstanding a temporary downturn in sentiment during April.

Market snapshot: Equity delivered yet another strong quarter
to December 2017, with several markets hitting record highs and cyclical stocks (particularly energy) delivering particularly large gains. Markets were buoyed by strong earnings growth, improving economic data and political events, including a U.S. tax cut and the re-election of Shinzo Abe. For the full year, global developed markets gained 22.4% (USD) and emerging markets rose 37.2% (USD).

Manager watch: In developed markets, active equity manager performance has been strong for the fourth quarter and through 2017 as a whole. Managers tracked by bfinance (composites shown on this page) have, on average, outperformed their benchmarks across both periods: in Q4 they delivered excess returns of 0.2% gross of fees; in 2017 they outperformed by 3%.


Each quarter, bfinance publishes information on investor activity, key market trends and manager performance.

Our quarterly snapshot of the key developments within equity, fixed income and alternative investments, including analysis of which asset manager groups performed well and which didn't.

Q4 rounded off a surprisingly risk-hungry year as positive economic data overshadowed persistent geopolitical concerns. Emerging market equity and debt, multi asset, leveraged loans, private debt and real assets proved to be the most popular sectors for new allocations from bfinance clients.



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This commentary is for institutional investors classified as Professional Clients as per FCA handbook rules COBS 3.5R. It does not constitute investment research, a financial promotion or a recommendation of any instrument, strategy or provider. The accuracy of information obtained from third parties has not been independently verified. Opinions not guarantees: the findings and opinions expressed herein are the intellectual property of bfinance and are subject to change; they are not intended to convey any guarantees as to the future performance of the investment products, asset classes, or capital markets discussed. The value of investments can go down as well as up.

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