Henderson Global Investors suffered net outflows of £4bn last year, succumbing to the market turmoil and competitive challenges that have besieged many of the fund company’s competitors in the active investment industry.
Henderson, which last year announced plans to merge with US rival Janus Capital, also saw its underlying profits fall 3 per cent last year to £212.7m.
Last year’s redemptions mark a big reversal for the London-headquartered company, which reported record net inflows of £8.5bn in 2015 and positive inflows of £7.1bn in 2014.
The FTSE 250-listed asset manager, which has suffered a 15 per cent share price fall over the past 12 months, said in October that the UK’s vote to leave the EU had negatively affected investor appetite for its funds.
Despite the drop in new business, the fund company saw its total assets under management rise by a tenth to £101bn – an all time record for Henderson – in 2016 on the back of positive currency and market movements.
Andrew Formica, chief executive of the company, said of last year’s results:
Henderson has delivered resilient financial performance in a year of extraordinary turbulence in politics and financial markets.
It is testament to our strategic progress over the past three years that we report assets under management and management fees at record levels – progress that has enabled us to continue to move forward through the proposed merger with Janus Capital Group. We are well advanced on our integration planning and are on track to complete the merger by the end of May.
Other asset managers – particularly those with a focus on actively picking stocks and bonds – have similarly encountered difficulties over the past 12 months as investors have increasingly poured money into passively managed index-tracking funds.
Aberdeen Asset Management and Ashmore, the emerging markets specialists that sell actively managed funds, both reported substantial net outflows in 2017.
Jupiter, the FTSE 250 asset manager, also reported outflows of £373m in the three months to the end of December, its highest level of quarterly withdrawals in at least five years. Although the company reported net inflows of £859m overall last year, this was less than half the level of assets raised in 2015.