The majority (87 per cent) of asset managers view the increase in attention to environmental, social, governance (ESG) strategies as a secular trend, according to the August 2014 issue of The Cerulli Edge – US Monthly Product Trends.
Although many see it as a permanent shift that will influence asset managers' and investors' strategies, most managers only consider it to be somewhat important for managers to offer ESG capabilities.
Mutual fund net flows of USD16.8 billion in July lifted the vehicle to total flows of USD224.1 billion 2014 YTD. Taxable bond funds were the top flow-gathering asset class in July, with net flows of USD11.6 billion.
ETF net flows of USD14.4 billion in July brought the vehicle to total flows of USD86.0 billion YTD. US equity ETFs stood as the most popular asset class in July, accumulating net inflows of USD9.8 billion.
Some asset managers are focusing their attention on outcome-oriented solutions. Shifting to a solutions-based approach impacts asset managers' product development, marketing efforts, and distribution strategy. This shift is long term and may take several years to implement. Cerulli stresses that it is a significant undertaking for the industry, and one that impacts all facets of production distribution from product creation all the way through to the point-of-sale.