EUROPE - Nearly double the number of institutional investors in Benelux, France, Germany and Italy felt a reduction in assets under management in 2000, compared to 1999, according to fund manager Invesco's 2001 European Institutional Asset Management Survey (EIAMS).
Based on financial results to the end of 2000, only 38% of the 125 institutions surveyed reported an increase in assets under management during the year 2000, compared to 65% in 1999. The 125 firms together manage EUR479bn - a decrease of EUR21bn on EIAMS' 2000 report. In both years pension funds represented 21% of the sample while insurance companies form the bulk.
The survey also found that while institutional investors in France used fund of funds products they are relatively ignored in Germany where 90% of investors claim they never use them. Investors believe alternative asset classes will continue to develop with most investors in France claiming risk diversification as the primary reason for their use.
The results of the importance of notations was not overwhelming with 43% claim AIMR and GIPS notations very important in Italy, 35% indifferent and 22% claiming it is not important.
Consultants are still expected to increase their influence, with just less then 80% of investors saying that it will increase.
Where asset allocation was concerned, the Benelux region reported an overweight exposure to equities of 41.8% compared to 24% for the sample as a whole. EIAMS said this could highlight the difference in investment sophistication and openness between these markets but could also come because the benelux sample was composed entirely of pension funds (as opposed to foundations, churches, banks and privatised funds in the other sampled regions.
The overall outlook in terms of investment horizon has lengthened when compared to the results of the German surveys of 2000 and 2001. Most were looking at three to five year horizons, five to ten year horizons or more than 10 years.
Aspirations to allocate more to external managers did not transpire exactly as institutions anticipated in the 1999 survey. Then, 55% of investors said they would increase their asset allocation to outside managers in 2000 but the 2000 survey shows that 4% actually did.
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