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Wednesday, January 27, 2021

The Smallest Firms' Outflows and Market Share Fell

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

The smallest fund firms' outflows and market share both fell last year.

Clayton Hale DeGiacinto
Axonic Capital LLC
Founder, Managing Partner, Chief Investment Officer
This article draws from Morningstar Direct data on December 2020 open-end mutual fund and ETF flows, excluding money-market funds and funds of funds. More specifically, this article focuses on the 484 firms (down from 512 at the end of 2019) with less than $1 billion each in long-term fund AUM. 221 of those firms gained net inflows in 2020 (down from 237 in 2019), 220 gained inflows in Q4 2020 (up from 213 in Q3), and 228 gained net inflows in December 2020 (up from 218 in November). The smallest fund firms accounted for 0.38 percent of industry long-term fund AUM as of December 31, 2020, down from: 0.4 percent on November 30, 2020; 0.44 percent on September 30, 2020; and 0.45 percent on December 31, 2021.

Axonic brought in an estimated $753 million in net 2020 inflows, more than any micro fund firm and up from negligible 2019 net inflows. Other big 2020 inflows winners included: Exchange Traded Concepts, $743 million (up from $144 million); Renaissance Capital, $612 million (up from $23 million); Aptus Capital Advisors, $488 million (up from $183 million); and Rational Funds, $452 million.

Last quarter, Renaissance took the lead, thanks to estimated net Q4 2020 inflows of $431 million, up from $155 million in Q3. Other big Q4 inflows winners included: AAAMCO, $300 million (up from negligible net outflows); Logan Circle Partners, $251 million (up from $2 million in net outflows); Aristotle, $187 million (up from $60 million); and Axonic, $186 million (up from $146 million).

Renaissance also took the micro firm lead last month, thanks to estimated net December 2020 inflows of $249 million, up from $98 million in November. Other big December inflows winners included: Logan Circle, $199 million (up from $3 million); TrimTabs, $161 million (up from $9 million in net outflows); Axonic, $116 million (up from $25 million); and Aristotle, $106 million (up from $59 million).

Last month included five apparent newcomers: Adasina, Certeza, Genlith, Polar Capital, and Sound ETF.

On the flip side, 2020 was a rough year for Chiron, which suffered an estimated $710 million in net outflows, more than any other micro fund firm and up from $463 million in 2019. Other big 2020 outflows sufferers included: Schroder, $692 million (up from $140 million); Phaeacian, $440 million; Highland, $361 million (up from $408 million); and 361, $321 million (down from $16 million in net inflows).

Last quarter was a rough one for Phaeacian, which led the micro firm outflows pack thanks to an estimated $442 million in net Q4 2020 outflows. Other big Q4 outflows sufferers included: SRN Advisors, $198 million (down from negligible Q3 inflows); Redwood, $168 million (up from $65 million); PPM America, $114 million (down from $2 million in net inflows); and AXS, $107 million (up from $44 million).

Altegris took the micro fund firm outflows lead last month, thanks to an estimated $57 million in net December 2020 outflows, up from $14 million in November. Other big December outflows sufferers included: Liberty Street, $40 million (up from $22 million); Fulcrum, $37 million (up from negligible net outflows); Huber Funds, $37 million (down from $5 million in net inflows); and AXS, $34 million (down from $47 million).

As a group, micro fund firms suffered an estimated $289 million in net 2020 outflows, equivalent to 0.32 percent of their combined AUM. That's down from $690 million and 0.74 percent of AUM in 2019.

In Q4 2020, micro fund firms brought in an estimated $816 million in net inflows, equivalent to 0.89 percent of their combined AUM and accounting for 0.37 percent of industry inflows. That's down from 1.013 billion, 1.09 percent of AUM, and 1.08 percent of industry inflows in Q3 2020.

And in December 2020 alone, the smallest fund firms brought in an estimated $1.287 billion in net inflows, quivalent to 1.41 percent of their combined AUM and accounting for 1.33 percent of industry inflows. That's up from $6 million, 0.01 percent of AUM, and 0.01 percent of industry inflows in November.

Across the entire industry, the 751 fund firms tracked by M* (down from 773 at the end of 2019) brought in a combined $220.219 billion in net inflows in 2020, equivalent to 0.92 percent of industry AUM. That's down from $419.3 billion and 2.02 percent in 2019.

In Q4 2020, the industry brought in $220.481 billion in net long-term mutual fund and ETF inflows, equivalent to 0.92 percent of industry AUM.

In December 2020 alone, the industry brought in an estimated $96.953 billion, equivalent to 0.41 percent of industry AUM and down from $112.028 billion. Passive funds brought in an estimated $59.958 billion in December inflows (down from $95.171 billion in November), while active funds brought in $36.995 billion in December inflows (up from $16.857 billion in November). 

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