Investors Turned to Specialized/Boutique Fund Firms for Results

In a background of lingering uncertainty for investors, many mutual fund managers have continued to attract significant inflows to their stock and bond funds in 2009.

Strategic Insight (SI), a business intelligence provider to the fund industry, and an Asset International company, identified 55 mutual fund managers that grew organically by 10% or more (net inflows as a percent of beginning-year assets) through the first 11 months of 2009. These firms included specialized/boutique organizations and industry innovators such as TCW Management, Van Eck Global, Manning & Napier, Matthews Asian Funds and Credit Suisse, according to an SI press release.

Most of the fastest-growing managers (on a percentage basis) outpaced bigger, brand-name firms, SI found. The firm said smaller firms’ achievements confirm investors’ results-oriented attitudes post-crisis.

“Investment boutiques, Asian and international specialists, providers of non-conventional strategies and managers of short-duration bond funds are all common to this year’s list,” commented Avi Nachmany, Strategic Insight’s director of Research, in the press release.

“These times of continuing economic anxiety highlight the value of the clarity and conviction of small and focused investment firms,” Nachmany explained. “This conviction has been well received by financial advisers, RIAs, and self-directed individual investors. The appeal of investment boutiques will again be evidenced in 2010.”

SI’s list includes managers of stock and bond funds of $1 billion+ at the beginning of the year; it excludes ETFs and funds underlying variable annuities.

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