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Rating:This New Fund Firm Won the 2018 Flows Race In Just Two Months Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Thursday, January 24, 2019

This New Fund Firm Won the 2018 Flows Race In Just Two Months

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

Among the smallest fund firms, the 2018 winner was a familiar new entrant, and it won the race in just two months.

This article draws from Morningstar Direct data on December 2018 and full-year 2018 open-end mutual fund and ETF flows (excluding money-market funds and funds of funds), and focuses specifically on the 528 firms (four more than in November) with less than $1 billion each in mutual fund and ETF AUM. 171 of those firms gained net inflows in December (down from 202 in November), and 261 had net inflows for the full year.

Morningstar's new multi-manager mutual fund family brought in an estimated $947 million in 2018, more than any other sub-$1-billion-AUM fund firm, and the firm launched the funds late in 2018, so all of those inflows came in November and December alone. Other big 2018 inflows winners included: the roboadvisor Wealthfront (also new to the fund business), $825 million; ETF Managers Trust, $724 million (up from $42 million in 2017); Fuller & Thaler, $673 million (up from $333 million); and GQG, $620 million (up from $436 million).

The inflows picture looked different in December, though Morningstar still led the pack with an estimated $302 million in net inflows (down from $645 million in November). Other big December winners included: AAAMCO, $161 million (up from $56 million); Horizon Investments, $90 million (up from $5 million); Infinity Q, $76 million (up from $3 million); and Innovator ETFs, $52 million (up from $29 million).

In addition to Morningstar and Wealthfront, 2018's apparent newcomer fund firms included: Adler, Alta Capital Management, Argent, Belmont Capital Group, Belpointe Asset Management, Boon, ClearShares, Community Development Fund, Cushing ETFs, Defiance ETFs, Distillate Capital, ETF Managers Capital, Exchange Traded Concepts Trust, Gadsden, iM Global Partner, Impact Shares, Innovation Shares, Innovative, InsightShares, KBI, Marmont Funds, Mesirow Financial, Metaurus, Ocean Capital Advisors, Penn Mutual Asset Management, Persimmon Funds, Powell Capital, PPTY, Salt Financial, Second Nature Investments, Secure Investment Management, VolShares, and Wealthn.

On the flip side, 2018 was a rough year for Mondrian, which suffered an estimated $324 million in net outflows, more than other sub-$1-billion-AUM fund firm, and up from $18 million in 2017. Other big 2018 outflows sufferers included: Grant Park, $313 million (down from $105 million in net inflows); Hancock Horizon, $313 million (down from $630 million); Oak Ridge Funds, $279 million (down from $1.14 billion); and Broadview Funds, $274 million (up from $115 million).

Like on the inflows side, the December outflows picture varied a bit from that of the full year. O'Shares led the smallest fund firm pack with an estimated $198 million in net outflows, down from $192 million in November inflows. Other big December outflows sufferers included: Polar Forest Capital, $133 million (up from $11 million); Intrepid Funds, $126 million (up from $14 million); Lyrical, $117 million (down from $242 million); and Abbey Capital, $90 million (level with November).

As a group, the 528 fund firms with less than $1 billion each in fund AUM suffered an estimated $2.268 billion in net outflows in December, equivalent to 2.46 percent of their combined AUM. That's up from $452 million in November.

For all of 2018, those same small fund firms brought in a combined $2.669 billion in net inflows, equivalent to 2.89 percent of their combined AUM. That's down from $3.006 billion in 2017.

Across the entire industry, long-term mutual funds and ETFs brought in a combined $162.401 billion in net inflows last year, equivalent to 0.96 percent of their combined AUM. That's despite $82.641 billion in combined net outflows in December alone, equivalent to 0.49 percent of the industry's combined AUM. Passive funds brought in $59.739 billion in net inflows in December, while active funds suffered $142.26 billion in net outflows. 

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