European SRI fund sales nosedive: RI/Lipper FMI data

Risk appetite moves back into the market, however, as equity fund sales rise.

Sales of European SRI funds nosedived during the month of September with asset outflows of €1.14bn, according to the latest available figures compiled for Responsible Investor by Lipper FMI, the investment data group. The plunge in value for ‘RI screened’ funds as they are labelled by Lipper FMI, which have undergone an ‘extra-financial’ ESG (environment, social and governance) screen in their stock selection process, compounded losses of €192.3m during the month of August. Just one fund made it into treble figures in terms of net sales: French fund manager Amundi’s Tréso ISR cash fund, which took in €209.9m. Nonetheless, a rise in assets in SRI equity funds suggests a return of investor risk appetite: 5 of the top ten best sellers in September were share offerings, the highest proportion for some time. AXA’s Euro Valeurs Responsables euroland equities fund was the second best seller, netting €65.1m. The third best seller was Scottish fund manager, Aberdeen Asset Management’s Ethical World fund, with sales of €63.7m. The top three of largest RI screened funds is still dominated by money market funds. The largest is Amundi’s Tréso ISR cash fund with €6.4bn. Second is French fund manager Natixis’ Fonsicav at €5.6bn. Third is the Allianz Securicash SRI fund with €1.4bn.Sales of green themed and norms-based European RI retail funds were also knocked back during September. The fund class, labelled by Lipper FMI as ‘RI Extended’, includes those with multiple ethical exclusions, those following a norms-based strategy and themed climate change and microfinance funds. In September, losses for the sector reached €447.9m. That reversed positive sales of €212.9m during August, albeit after a largely disappointing year for asset inflows. In September, no ‘RI Extended’ funds made it into treble figure sales. Austria’s Sparkassen was the biggest seller with its Espa Bond Euro-Mundelrent, which took in €61.2m. Second was BNP Paribas’ L1 Equity Brazil fund with sales of €34m. Third is the Luxembourg-listed Kairos International – Ambiente fund, managed by Kairos, the Milan-based hedge fund, with sales of €33.9m. The largest RI Extended fund remains Pictet’s Water fund with €2.3bn. Second is BlackRock’s New Energy Fund with €2.1bn. Third is French fund manager Ofivalmo’s OFI Trésor ISR fund with €973.8m. Mainstream European retail fund sales were €2.6bn for the month of September.

For full RI/Lipper figures, click on download docs (left hand column)