May 16, 2011

Fund Flows Positive in April: KBW

Emerging markets strong, munis still losing ground

Net mutual fund flows, both for equity and for fixed income funds, were solidly positive in April, according to data released Friday by Keefe, Bruyette & Woods. Emerging markets saw strong inflows and muni funds were still on the outflow, although that has slowed somewhat.

While fund flows were down a bit from the previous month, they were largely consistent with the previous quarter, with positive April flows to Affiliated Managers Group (AMG), BlackRock (BLK), Eaton Vance (EV), Franklin Resources (BEN), T. Rowe Price Group (TROW), Virtus Investment Partners (VRTS) and Waddell and Reed Financial (WDR). Equity fund flows were overall improved from March in emerging markets and in domestic equities.

Artio Global Investors (ART) saw the weakest long-term fund flow performance for the month, relatively speaking, and full-quarter fund flows were also down at AllianceBernstein (AB), Federated Investors (FII), and Janus Capital Group (JNS). Muni fund flow eased in April compared to prior months, and fixed income fund flows were solidly positive. Tax season demands drove some small seasonal outflows from money funds, but demand for bank loan, high yield, global bond, and other spread products helped to keep fixed income flows positive at AMG, ART, BLK, EV, BEN, JNS, TROW, VRTS, and WDR.

Asset allocation and blend products did well, and April results for international ETF products in April were consistent with better flows to traditional foreign equity funds.

That said, there may be something of a slowdown during the traditionally slower midyear period. The report also cautions that U.S.-sold mutual funds may represent only a relatively small segment of AUM, and that net flow data should be viewed within the context of each individual asset manager’s AUM and business mix.

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