The Best-Selling Passive Funds

Three passive funds, including one ETF, make it to the top 10 selling funds in the UK in April  

Editor, Europe
Reviewed by: Rachael Revesz
Edited by: Rachael Revesz

European investors flocked into passive funds in April, as exchange traded funds (ETFs) and trackers pose an increasing challenge to active managers, particularly in the equity space.

New research from Thomson Reuters’ Lipper, published yesterday, showed that three passive funds made it into the top 10 selling fund list in April, and gathered a combined €9 billion out of a total €26.1 billion, which represented over 22 percent of total fund flows in Europe.

The State Street SsgA UK Equity Tracker hit the top spot at €4.1 billion, while the same provider’s Europe ex UK Equity Tracker reached third place for April flows at €2.9 billion. The iShares Core Euro Corporate Bond UCITS ETF was in seventh place, and still amasssed an impressive €1.8 billion during the month.

Out of the top 10, five funds were equity funds, showing investors’ overall willingness to take on risk, while only two of the funds were in bonds (the Amundi Funds Bond Global Aggregate and the BlackRock Fixed Income Global Opportunities).

“These numbers lead to the assumption that the net inflows in the equity sector are highly concentrated, while the inflows in the bond and mixed-asset segments are coming from a broad number of products,” wrote Detlef Glow, head of Lipper EMEA Research.

Earlier research from Lipper, published in March, showed that the best-selling equity fund of 2014 was the Vanguard S&P 500 UCITS ETF with net sales of €5.15 billion, beating star manager Neil Woodford’s CF Woodford Equity Income fund (€5.11 billion) to the top spot.

Rachael Revesz joined in August 2013 as staff writer. Previously an investment reporter at Citywire, she has a background in writing content for retail financial advisors and has covered a wide range of subjects in finance. Revesz studied journalism at PMA Media, which has since merged with the Press Association. She also holds a B.A. in modern languages from Durham University, as well as CF1 and CF2 financial planning certificates from the CII.