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MONEY MANAGEMENT

Aberdeen’s assets dip 1.3% as outflows continue

Aberdeen Asset Management reported £308.1 billion ($383.7 billion) in assets under management as of March 31, down 1.3% from six months earlier but up 5.2% for the year.

Aberdeen said in its half-year report that AUM grew 1.8% for the three months ended March 31.

Net outflows totaled £13.4 billion for the six-month period, but were more than offset by market and foreign-exchange gains of £15.1 billion for the period. The firm also recorded a negative £5.7 billion impact on assets under management attributed to business restructuring in fixed income and multiasset, said the update. The firm decided in October to restructure its U.S. fixed-income business, focusing on credit and total return bond strategies and withdrawing from core and core-plus allocations. “Consequently, we have seen a reduction of £3.3 billion during the period,” said the update. Further, the firm decided to close its “uneconomic” multimanager strategies, which resulted in a £2.4 billion reduction in assets under management in the three months ended March 31.

For the six months ended March 31, 2016, net outflows of £16.7 billion were more than offset by market appreciation of £10.1 billion, corporate transactions of £7.8 billion and positive FX effects of £7.9 billion.

Net outflows for the three months ended March 31 totaled £2.9 billion, while market and FX impacts added £11.8 billion for the latest quarter. Net outflows for the three months ended March 31, 2016, totaled £7.6 billion.

All strategies experienced net outflows for the six-month period. Equities assets fell 1% to £88.2 billion, with £8.6 billion in net outflows. Fixed-income assets fell 6.6% to £65.4 billion, and net outflows were £1.3 billion. Multiasset strategies experienced net outflows of £1.3 billion, but assets grew 0.7% to £90.5 billion. Alternatives assets also grew 0.5% to £21.9 billion, but net outflows totaled £500 million. Real estate assets fell 1.6% to £18.2 billion, with £800 million in net outflows. Quantitative strategy assets grew 4.8% to £23.9 billion, with £900 million in net outflows.

“These figures reflect improving sentiment toward emerging markets combined with our transition to becoming a full-service asset manager offering a broad range of capabilities via multiple distribution channels globally,” said CEO Martin Gilbert in a statement accompanying the update. Net inflows of £800 million were recorded into emerging markets equities and debt strategies for the quarter ended March 31.

Mr. Gilbert added that the firm's planned merger with Standard Life, announced in March, is “on track” and expected to close in the third quarter of 2017.