Manager Intelligence and Market Trends

November 2019

bfinance’s quarterly report in November 2019: 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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bfinance quarterly report November 2019

A rocky Q3, underpinned by weak economic data and ongoing trade war tensions, saw the bfinance Risk Aversion Index shooting back to January 2019 levels. Further monetary easing in the US and Europe calmed the symptoms of market unrest, but investors remain concerned about the fundamentals.

New manager searches from bfinance clients illustrate the ongoing emphasis on diversification, with private markets mandates proving more numerous than equity mandates. In private markets we note a clear shift from debt towards equity, with a decline in new searches for corporate private debt.

Plenty of active equity managers were caught out in Q3 when the value factor returned to form: global equity managers tracked by bfinance underperformed the MSCI World by 1.2%, although relative performance remains strong over one year (+2%) and three years (+2.9% pa).

New mandates for “multi asset” outstrip new mandates for hedge funds. Yet the real picture is more complex: investors are increasingly pursuing “outcome-oriented” manager searches, with a clear focus on the desired objectives but an open mind about strategies that may fit the bill.

Demand remains strong for investment grade credit. While the US market is outperforming Europe through 2019, Europe has provided a more favourable environment for active managers: 85% of them beat the benchmark in Q3.


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.


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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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