2017 was an exceptional year for the European investment fund industry, with net assets of UCITS and AIF surpassing the EUR15 trillion mark and net sales breaking the prior record set in 2015 by more than EUR200 billion.
That’s according to the EFAMA 2018 annual review which reveals that all types of UCITS recorded strong net sales in 2017, with bond funds reaching their highest annual net sales ever.
Buoying stock markets, on the back of a cyclical upswing, increased investor confidence and boosted net inflows into equity funds.
The net sales of bond funds rebounded strongly in 2017 to reach an exceptional all-time high. The low volatility and diversification benefits offered by bond funds have most certainly helped boost investor demand in a market environment which remained characterised by very low interest rates.
Multi-asset funds experienced solid net sales throughout the year, but did not break the record set in 2015 (EUR240 billion).
Despite low or even negative returns, money market funds registered net inflows for the fourth consecutive year, confirming that money market funds remain an important tool for investors, enabling them to manage their cash within a diversified strategy and avoid counterparty credit risk.
Net sales of AIF also reached a record high during 2017, surpassing EUR200 billion of net sales.
Peter de Proft (pictured), Director General of EFAMA, says: “The strong net sales of European investment funds in 2017 testify to investors’ confidence in the general economic outlook and the quality of the UCITS and AIF frameworks. They also confirm that the wide range of investment strategies and risk mitigation techniques used by UCITS and AIF acts as a driving force in the fund industry by allowing investors to find funds that meet their needs and expectations in terms of market performance. “