Thursday 2 February 2017 10:31 am

Aberdeen Asset Management shares tumble on 15th consecutive quarter of outflows

Aberdeen Asset Management’s shares fell five per cent on Thursday morning after the FTSE 250 firm reported outflows as investors were spooked by the US presidential election.

The figures

The company reported assets under management of £302.7bn at 31 December, down three per cent from £312.1bn on 30 September last year.

Net outflows of £10.5bn were only partially offset by asset appreciation of £3.3bn, the first quarter results show.

Read more: Investors failed to keep calm and carry on in 2016, despite strong markets

Aberdeen has now reported 15 consecutive quarters of outflows, totalling a cumulative £104.6bn, according to Shore Capital’s Paul McGinnis.

Aberdeen’s share price was down five per cent to 246p shortly after 10am on Thursday morning.

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Why it’s interesting

Analysts at Peel Hunt noted that, with the firm already having flagged significant outflows, “there should be little surprise that this was another difficult quarter for Aberdeen”.

With uncertainty around the UK’s Brexit vote and the presidential election, 2016 was a tough year for fund managers across the board.

Despite markets like the FTSE 100 hitting record highs at the end of the year, fund sales were at their lowest level since 2008, according to Investment Association figures released earlier this week.

What the analysts say: "Not pretty"

Laith Khalaf, senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said:

The woe continues at Aberdeen as funds continue to flow in the wrong direction, and the fund manager has now clocked up fifteen consecutive quarters of net withdrawals. The fund manager has put considerable emphasis on its Multi-Assetproposition, but even here billions of pounds worth of assets are walking out the door.

RBC Capital said in a note:

While Aberdeen is keen to point out the low margin aspect of some of the net outflows, the headline figures are not pretty, and will likely continue to pressure the shares.

Read more: Aberdeen share price jumps despite profit slump

What the company said

Chief executive Martin Gilbert said:

Investor sentiment had been improving steadily in the early part of the quarter, but stalled following the US presidential election result with investors putting asset allocation decisions on hold. Encouragingly, despite the market volatility our equity strategies produced strong returns for the year.

While growing interest in a number of our strategies is likely to continue to be masked, in the short term, by significant withdrawals by a small number of clients, I am encouraged by the progress being made. Overall Aberdeen remains in good shape, we have a strong balance sheet, a global client base and wide range of capabilities to meet the needs of investors.