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Rating:While Other Flows Zig, the Smallest Firms Zag Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Monday, June 28, 2021

While Other Flows Zig, the Smallest Firms Zag

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

Even as industry inflows fell last month, the smallest fund firms' inflows climbed.

This article draws from Morningstar Direct data on May 2021 open-end mutual fund and ETF flows, excluding money-market funds and funds of funds. (Other asset management products, like CITs and SMAs, are also not included.) More specifically, this article focuses on the 485 firms (up from 483 in April 2021 but down from 510 in May 2020) with less than $1 billion each in long-term fund AUM.

Micro fund firms had $94.115 billion in total long-term AUM as of May 31, 2021, accounting for 0.42 percent of industry AUM. That's up from $93.464 billion and 0.36 percent of AUM in April 30, 2021. And it's up from $93.507 billion and 0.36 percent of AUM in May 30, 2020.

260 micro fund firms brought in net inflows last month, down from 285 in April 2021 and up from 221 in May 2020.

Oriental Trust took the lead last month among micro fund firms, thanks to an estimated $263 million in net May 2021 inflows. Other big May 2021 inflows winners included: Horizon Kinetics, $176 million (up month-over-month from $208 million); River Canyon, $176 million (up M/M from $58 million, up year-over-year from $12 million in net outflows); Strategy Shares, $105 million (down M/M from $108 million, up Y/Y from $1 million in net outflows); and Cambria, $82 million (up M/M from $3 million, up Y/Y from $54 million).

Last month included two apparent newcomers: Legal & General and Oriental Trust.

As of May 31, 2021, Horizon Kinetics led the micro firm year-to-date inflows pack, thanks to an estimated $512 million in net YTD inflows. Other big YTD inflows winners included: Sprucegrove, $446 million; and Strategy Shares, $390 million.

For the 12 months ending on May 31, 2021, Strategy Shares led the micro fund firm inflows pack, thanks to an estimated $548 million in net inflows. Other big inflows winners included: Horizon Kinetics, $512 million; and Renaissance Capital, $486 million.

On the flip side, last month was a rough one for Renaissance, which led the micro outflows pack thanks to an estimated $75 million in net May 2021 outflows, up M/M from $35 million and down Y/Y from $7 million in net inflows. Other big May 2021 outflows sufferers included: Atlas, $62 million; Berkshire, $49 million (up M/M from $15 million, down Y/y from $12 million in net inflows); Roundhill, $47 million (up M/M from $44 million, down Y/Y from $3 million in net inflows); and ClearShares, $35 million (down M/M from $35 million in net inflows, down Y/Y from $10 million in net inflows).

YTD, as of May 31, 2021, Schroder led the 2021 micro outflows pack thanks to an estimated $336 million in net YTD outflows. Other big YTD outflows sufferers included: Muzinich, $307 million; and MainGate $184 million.

For the 12 months ended May 31, 2021, Schroder led the micro fund firm outflows pack thanks to an estimated $947 million in net outflows. Other big outflows sufferers included: Phaeacian, $431 million; and Liberty Street, $328 million.

As a group, micro firms brought in an estimated $1.316 billion in net May 2021 inflows, equivalent to about 1.4 percent of their combined AUM and accounting for 1.59 percent of overall long-term industry inflows. That's up from $1.21 billion, 1.3 percent of AUM, and 0.96 percent of industry inflows in April 2021. And it's up from $664 million and 0.71 percent of AUM, but down from 2.01 percent of industry AUM, in May 2020.

YTD as of the end of May 2021, micro fund firms brought in an estimated $5.523 billion in net YTD inflows, equivalent to 5.87 percent of their combined AUM and accounting for 0.9 percent of overall industry inflows. For the 12 months ending on May 31, 2021, micro fund firms brought in an estimated $5.859 billion in net inflows, equivalent to 6.23 percent of their combined AUM and accounting for 0.57 percent of industry inflows.

Across the entire industry, the 760 fund firms (down from 763 in May 2020) tracked by the M* team brought in a combined $82.763 billion in estimated net long-term fund inflows in May 2021, equivalent to about 0.32 percent of long-term fund AUM (which totaled $22.156 trillion). That's down from $125.673 billion in April 2021 but up from $33.001 billion in May 2020.

Active funds brought in an estimated $11.451 billion in net May 2021 inflows, down MOM from $31.465 billion in April 2021 and down YOY from $17.995 billion in May 2020.

In the first five months of 2021, long-term funds brought in an estimated $615.895 billion in net inflows, equivalent to 2.35 percent of their combined AUM. For the 12 months ended May 31, 2021, long-term funds brought in an estimated $1.023266 trillion in net inflows, equivalent to about 3.91 percent of their combined AUM. 

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