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SRI funds beat mainstream equity fund sales

Sales figures suggest SRI funds bearing up as crisis endures.

Sales of European SRI funds returned to positive in November and outstripped sales of non-SRI equity funds for the month, according to the latest available figures compiled for Responsible Investor by Lipper Feri, the investment data group.
Total sales for the SRI sector for November were €784.2m ($1bn) to take the overall value of the sector to €35.3bn. Sales of mainstream equity funds totalled €588.7m over the same period. It suggests that SRI funds may have begun to benefit from a positive reputation amongst fund clients as the credit crisis has continued. The boost to SRI fund sales in November, however, followed October’s losses of €496.3m and outflows of €1.1bn in assets in September when the SRI fund total universe was at over €40bn. Not surprisingly, the biggest selling SRI funds for the month were cash and bond offerings. Allianz’s France based Securicash SRI funds was top seller with estimated net sales of €183.2m. In second place was BNP Paribas’ Moné Etheis cash fund with sales of €172m. Third was Dexia’s Sustainable Euro Corporate Bonds fund which took in €143.2m. Allianz’s Securicash SRI fund is nowEurope’s biggest SRI fund with assets of just over €1.5bn.
Green funds in Europe, however, continued to suffer from overall losses to the sector with client redemptions of €68.6m during November. The losses were small, however, compared to the massive €834.7m ($1.1bn) withdrawal in October during the height of the credit crisis. The European green fund sector is now valued at just under €13bn.
Just three green funds managed sales in the double figures for the month. The best seller was Danske Bank’s LD Invest Miljø & Klima, which took in €13m in new client money. Second was Swiss fund manager Vontobel’s Luxembourg-domiciled Global Trend New Power Tech fund with sales of €11.9m. Third was Pioneer’s Luxembourg domiciled Global Ecology fund with inflows of €10.1m.
The biggest green fund is Pictet’s Water fund with €2.2bn followed by Blackrock’s New Energy Fund with just over €2bn.