Manager Intelligence and Market Trends

August 2019

bfinance’s quarterly report in August 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 August 2019

New manager searches illustrate a strong focus on improving portfolio resilience. Within equities this manifests as appetite for low volatility and quality; in fixed income we see increased interest in investment grade bonds versus high yield and loans.

The bfinance Risk Aversion index sits in neutral, with key market indicators showing both caution and optimism. Yet equity “FOMO” (fear of missing out) is evident among Multi Asset funds: average allocations to equities are now higher than they were during the risk-friendly 2013-14 window.

Styles (or factors) were strongly predictive of Q2 active manager performance in developed market equities, where value managers (-5% vs. MSCI World) continued to struggle versus their growthfocused peers (+8.5%). The picture was very different in emerging market equities where style had little connection with performance.

Demand for Alternative Risk Premia has risen again in 2019, despite the disappointing returns that some ARP managers delivered in calendar 2018.

Conversely, we note a decline in appetite for corporate Private Debt although this sector still represents nearly 10% of all new manager searches conducted by bfinance and 25% of those in private markets.


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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