Liontrust outshines Miton via fixed income and sustainability inflows

Equities boutique Miton sees Q1 net inflows shrink 98% over the last year

Miton Liontrust

Miton has said it is encouraged by Q1 net inflows are positive despite the fact they have shrunk 98% compared to the same period in 2018, while its rival Liontrust has seen sales more than double over the period with its fixed income and sustainability products driving sales.

Equity funds took in £42m over the quarter but were offset by £37m outflows in its multi-asset funds.

The boutique asset manager highlighted the trading update showed 10 consecutive quarters of positive net flows.

Assets under management (AUM) for Liontrust Asset Management and Miton Group grew by 21% and 16% over the first quarter of 2019, but Miton saw net inflows fall significantly.

Andrew Watson, analyst at N+1 Singer, said that Miton’s AUM had “benefited from positive market tailwinds” as equity markets recovered during the period.

“Sentiment has been driven by positive investment performance as equity markets recovered during the period affected by the tricky macro-economic backdrop. Miton maintained net inflows nonetheless,” he said.

David Barron, chief executive officer, added: “In the context of the wider market it is encouraging to see a further quarter of positive net inflows reflecting growth in several of the equity funds that were developed to meet client needs and diversify the business.

“Whilst markets have rallied, sentiment remains subdued and clients are still cautious. We believe we are well positioned, if more normal market conditions return, to continue to make further progress through the strength of our differentiated funds and our effective distribution.”

Sustainable funds interest grows

Meanwhile, Liontrust’s net inflows reached £581m for Q1, up from £255m for the same period in 2018. Inflows in to bond funds run by former Kames fund managers David Roberts and Phil Milburn contributed to the rise in AUM which totalled £12.7bn, up from £10.5bn on 31 March 2018.

The global fixed income team of Roberts, Milburn and Donald Phillips, who joined Liontrust early in 2018, are managing a total of £419m.

Sustainable investment funds contributed £3.7bn towards Liontrust’s total AUM.

John Ions (pictured), chief executive, said Liontrust is continuing to see increasing interest and flows in to its sustainable funds. He said: “This is an ever-more competitive area as investor demand for sustainability grows, we are confident about the outlook for our team and the proposition they offer investors.”

Ions continued: “This success comes at a challenging time, with negative retail fund flows across the UK industry as a whole in six of the last seven months up to and including February 2019. Equity funds in aggregate have suffered net outflows in nine out of the last 10 months, totaling £3.5bn.”

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