Boutique Fund Managers See Growth in Down Economy

A listing of the fastest-growing active fund managers in 2009 includes mostly smaller firms.

Strategic Insight (SI), an Asset International company, looked at active fund managers (among those that started 2009 with $1 billion or more in assets) that saw large growth in terms of 2009 net inflows as a percentage of total assets at the start of 2009 (organic growth), and found 15 firms that had organic growth of 50% or more in 2009.

The top five included Van Eck (119% organic growth), Manning & Napier Advisors (91%), Matthews Asian Funds (83%), Robert W Baird & Co (72%), and Hussman Econometrics (68%).

“The large number of smaller fund firms on this list attest to the strength of boutiques, whose focus and strong sense of conviction for their strategies/philosophies often prove attractive to investors in times of uncertainty,” said Avi Nachmany, director of research at Strategic Insight, in a press release.

Completing the list of the top 15 are:

  • Saturna Capital (67%)
  • Credit Suisse (66%)
  • Bessemer Trust (65%)
  • Lazard Asset Management (65%)
  • Sentinel Asset Management (63%)
  • Westchester Capital (61%)
  • TCW Management (57%)
  • Northern Trust (54%)
  • Kornitzer Capital Management (51%)
  • JPMorgan Funds (51%).

SI also noted the most popular actively managed mutual funds of 2009 displayed a wide range of investment styles. PIMCO Commodity Real Return topped the list of domestic equity funds with 6.7 billion in inflows; PIMCO Total Return led taxable bond funds with $49.7 billion; Ivy Asset Strategy saw the biggest inflows of international equity funds ($6.5 billion); and Wells Fargo Advisors Ultra Short Muni topped the list of tax-free bond funds with $6 billion in inflows.

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