The European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA) has released its 2021 industry Fact Book, which provides an in-depth analysis of trends in the European fund industry, an extensive overview of the regulatory developments across 29 European countries and a wealth of data.
New to this year’s edition is an analysis of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the industry, an overview of the growth of ESG UCITS since 2016, a deep dive into the fund holdings of insurers, performance and costs figures for both active and passive UCITS and a focus on household financial assets.
According to the book, net outflows from UCITS amounted to EUR314 billion in March, the largest monthly outflows ever observed in absolute terms. Investor confidence returned in April and net sales remained strong during the following months, resulting in a total of EUR 474 billion of net sales over the year. Broken down by fund type, 2020 has been marked by record-breaking net sales of money market funds (MMFs) and strong net inflows into equity funds.
Net inflows into AIFs meanwhile, were hardly impacted by the pandemic, they stayed positive in March and only turned slightly negative in April. The resilience of AIFs amid the Covid-19 pandemic confirms the longer-term investment horizon of insurers and pension funds who are the primary investors in AIFs.
Net assets of European ESG UCITS funds have also grown strongly in the last five years, with more significant increases in 2019 and 2020. The share of ESG funds grew from almost 7 per cent of total net assets in 2015 to 11 per cent in 2020, or EUR 1.2 trillion. This growth was supported by an exponential rise of net sales of ESG UCITS in 2020, to an estimated total of EUR 235 billion, despite the Covid-19 pandemic.
EFAMA’s Director General, Tanguy van de Werve, says: “2020 was undeniably marked by the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite the enormous economic damages, investors inside and outside Europe continued to put their trust in UCITS and AIFs and boosted net sales to EUR 650 billion. ESG funds attracted more than one-third of these net sales. We are confident this upwards ESG trend will continue, especially if policy-makers take the necessary actions to fill the existing ESG data gap.”