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Rating:Micro Fund Firms' Inflows Plummet 89 Percent Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Friday, March 15, 2019

Micro Fund Firms' Inflows Plummet 89 Percent

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

A small cap value specialist now leads the micro pack.

This article draws from Morningstar Direct data on February 2019 open-end mutual fund and ETF flows (excluding money-market funds and funds of funds). Specifically, this article focuses on the 522 firms (three fewer than in January) with less than $1 billion in AUM each (in mutual fund and ETF AUM). 240 of those firms gained net inflows in February, down from 262 in January.

The sole Investment Counselors of Maryland (ICM) mutual fund led the sub-$1-billion-AUM pack last month, bringing in an estimated $83 million in net February inflows, up from $14 million in January. Other big February inflows winners include: Firsthand, $63 million (up from $20 million); Jackson Square, $49 million (down from $64 million); Aware, $44 million (up from $15 million); and Innovator, $34 million (down from $168 million).

Proportionately, setting aside apparent newcomers, Aware (in its second month on M*'s charts) led the pack with estimated net February inflows equivalent to 74.47 percent of its AUM. Other big February inflows winners include: Sirios, 58.95 percent (up from 0.06 percent in net outflows in January); River Canyon, 33.9 percent (up from 0.92 percent); ETF Managers Capital, 33.33 percent (up from flat flows); and Spyglass Capital, 33.04 percent (up from 13.99 percent).

February's apparent newcomer fund firms included Cadence Capital Management and Foothill Capital Management.

On the flip side, February was a rough month for TD Asset Management, which suffered an estimated $108 million in net outflows, more than any other sub-$1-billion-AUM fund firm and down from $8 million in net inflows in January. Other big February outflows sufferers included; Acuitas Investments, $35 million (down from $7 million in net inflows); Amplify ETFs, $33 million (up from $27 million); Equinox, $32 million (up from $22 million); and Orinda, $30 million (down from $49 million in net inflows).

Proportionately, Cortina Funds led the February outflows pack, suffering estimated net outflows equivalent to 184.72 percent of its month-end AUM (i.e. its February outflows were nearly twice as big as the AUM it had left at the end of the month), up from 4.81 percent in January. Other big February outflows sufferers included: TD, 108.97 percent (down from 3.82 percent in net inflows); RISE, 50.88 percent (up from 16.28 percent); Acuitas, 39.08 percent (down from 5.67 percent in net inflows); and Traub's FX Strategy, 25 percent (up from 4.15 percent).

As a group, the 522 fund firms with less than $1 billion each in fund AUM brought in a combined $112 million in estimated net inflows in February, equivalent to 0.12 percent of their combined AUM and accounting for 0.21 percent of industry flows. That's down from $1.012 billion in net January inflows, which accounted for 2.6 percent of industry flows.

Across the entire industry, long-term mutual funds and ETFs brought in a combined $53.664 billion in estimated net inflows in February, equivalent to 0.29 percent of industry AUM and up from $38.941 billion in January. Passive inflows rose to $42.184 billion in February, and active inflows rose to $11.48 billion. 

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