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Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Midsize Fund Flows Swing Negative

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

A midwestern ETF shop's lead shrinks as midsize fund firms' flows swing negative.

James A. Bowen
First Trust Advisors L.P.
This article draws from Morningstar Direct data on February 2020 open-end mutual fund and ETF flows, excluding money-market funds and funds of funds. More specifically, this article focuses on the 73 firms (down from 79 in January) with between $10 billion and $100 billion each in fund AUM. 35 of those firms gained net inflows in February, down from 37 in January.

First Trust kept the pole position, bringing in an estimated $1.383 billion in net inflows in February, down from $2.082 billion in January. Other big February inflows winners included: Baird, $1.299 billion (up from $1.294 billion); DoubleLine, $886 million (up from $879 million); Edward Jones' Bridge Builder, $851 million (up from $505 million); and Rafferty's Direxion, $755 million (up from $395 million).

Proportionately, Direxion again led the midsize fund firm pack last month, with estimated net February inflows equivalent to 5. 9 percent of its AUM, up from 2.8 percent in January. Other big February inflows winners included: WCM, 3.7 percent (up from 2.4 percent); Touchstone, 2.3 percent (up from 1.3 percent in net outflows); Brown Advisory, 1.9 percent (down from 2.3 percent); and Mirae (including Global X), 1.9 percent (down from 2.2 percent).

On the flipside, February was another rough month for Harris' Oakmark, which suffered an estimated $1.025 billion in net outflows, more than any other midsize fund firm but down from $1.612 billion in January. Other big February outflows sufferers included: DWS, $956 million (down from $213 million in net inflows); Wells Fargo, $809 million (up from $90 million); Morgan Stanley, $762 million (down from $1.257 billion in net inflows); and Primecap,$681 million (up from $578 million).

Proportionately, FMI led the midsize outflows pack last month, suffering estimated net February outflows equivalent to 2.8 percent of its AUM, up from 2.2 percent in January. Other big February outflows sufferers included: FMI, 2.8 percent (up from 2.2 percent); Raymond James' Carillon Tower, 2.7 percent (up from 2.1 percent); Matthews Asia, 2.5 percent (up from 1.6 percent); Primecap, 2.3 percent (up from 1.8 percent); and DWS, 2 percent (down from 0.4 percent in net inflows).

As a group, the 73 midsize fund firms suffered an estimated $923 million in net February outflows, equivalent to about 0.03 percent of their combined AUM. That's down from $2.357 billion in net January inflows.

Across the entire industry, the 769 fund firms (two more than in January) tracked by the M* team brought in a combined $25.459 billion in net February inflows, equivalent to 0.13 percent of industry AUM and down from $83.274 billion in January. Passive funds brought in an estimated $13.784 billion in net February inflows (down 79 percent from $65.959 billion in January), while active funds brought in $11.675 billion in net February inflows (down 33 percent from $17.315 billion in January).

Editor's Note: A prior version of this story confusingly described mid-size fund firms' collective net flows for February 2020. To clarify, as a group they suffered an estimated $923 million in net February outflows. 

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