As equity funds across different regions, capitalizations and investment styles plummeted between -15% and -26% in the third quarter, publicly traded asset managers were hit with an average 8.9% decline in fee-earning assets under management, Moody’s said Thursday. U.S. small-cap stock and emerging markets indices suffered the sharpest losses.
Moody’s based its analysis on the performance of the following 13 publicly traded companies: AllianceBernstein, BlackRock, Cohen & Steers, Eaton Vance, Federated Resources, GAMCO Investors, Invesco, Janus Capital Group, Legg Mason, Nuveen Investments, T. Rowe Price and Waddell & Reed Financial.
However, because these asset managers have business portfolios spanning asset categories and decreased compensation as a share of revenue by an average of 2.2% over the past year—the quarter turned out to be a zero-sum game, Moody’s said.
As a result, EBITDA margins were stable in the quarter, enabling managers to reduce debt by an average of 6.0%.
Seven of the 13 managers had positive net inflows, but in the aggregate, the group was hit with outflows of 0.64% in the quarter. Fund complexes with the strongest performance had strong inflows; Cohen & Steers saw inflows rise 3.43%, GAMCO’s inflows rose 2.49% and Waddell & Reed’s inflows rose 1.44%, Moody’s said.
Conversely, complexes with poor performance had higher-than-average redemptions: AllianceBernstein investors redeemed an average 5.88% of assets in the third quarter; Legg Mason investors, 2.66%; Eaton Vance investors, 1.37%; and Janus investors took an average 1.35% of assets off the table.
Over the past five quarters, the 13 managers as a group raised little new business. However, the cumulative success of the smaller managers—Cohen & Steers, Waddell & Reed and Nuveen—shows that it can be relatively easy for smaller managers to increase their market share, Moody’s said.