Manager Intelligence and Market Trends

May 2018

bfinance’s quarterly report in May 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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Rocky spells bring risk aversion. After five increasingly confident quarters, the bfinance Risk Aversion index showed a decline in risk appetite for Q1. Yet multi-asset managers appear to be remaining overweight growth assets.

Manager searches rise. A surge in allocation activity delivered a >50% increase in new mandate volume at bfinance for the twelve months to March 31st. The first quarter brought increased attention for real estate, fund of hedge funds and small cap equity.

Macro hedge funds and CTAs hit highs and lows. bfinance’s “Macro & Trading” manager composite (p.20) experienced its best ever and worst ever months since inception in January 2010.

US active fixed income managers beat their European counterparts by being better positioned for the rise in government bond yields.

Investors seek improved diversification in equity portfolios. Although value strategies continued to suffer in Q1, clients are currently favouring this style for new investments.

Emerging markets remain high on the agenda with strong investor appetite and new searches in both EM equity and EM debt.


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.

The first quarter of 2018 has seen a significant inflexion point in market participants’ apparent risk appetite.


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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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