RLAM performed 'in sharp contrast' to competitors, says group chief

The mutual insurer reported on August 18 that net flows for the six months to June 30 for Royal London Asset Management came in at £467 million, a 9% decrease on £511 million a year ago.

Total assets, however, ticked up by 11% to £93.8 billion.

The slowdown in net flows was caused by gross outflows during the period climbing by 36% on a year earlier to £1.9 billion, eclipsing the 24% rise in gross inflows, which came in at £2.3 billion.

The firm said RLAM had “continued to perform well”, highlighting that inflows had come from both the institutional and wholesale markets. Royal London said this was a “particularly strong result in a period of market uncertainty around the UK referendum on European Union membership”.

Its group CEO Phil Loney said: “RLAM recorded a strong performance in the first half of 2016, with good gross and net inflows in sharp contrast to others in the asset management sector.

“Institutional business was particularly strong, with a number of new clients investing in the credit and government bond portfolios in particular.”

Managers such as Henderson Global Investors and Aberdeen Asset Management reported outflows for the first six months of the year, blaming the Brexit effect for adding to volatility and destabilising investor confidence.

RLAM has looked to diversify its asset base in the past two years. On August 10, the firm said it had added four people to its global high-yield bench and plans to launch a multi-asset credit fund.

It has recently tried to muscle in on the increasingly popular multi-asset sector with the launch of six multi-asset portfolios in March, managed by Trevor Greetham, previously director of asset allocation at Fidelity International.

Elsewhere, gross sales for Ascentric, the group’s investment platform that serves independent financial advisers, fell 10.1% to £1.1 billion, although assets under administration increased by 7% to £10.8 billion.

Overall, pre-tax profit for Royal London rose 20% on the first half of 2015 to £138 million.

On the UK’s Brexit vote, Royal London said it was “confident that there is no significant impact to the operations or the capital of the group”, stating that it maintains a strong capital position.

It added: “We will continue to monitor the implications of the vote to leave, but expect to continue to trade as normal. Since the vote outcome, we have seen a period of market and currency volatility for the UK.”

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