Fund Development in Europe

Assess the Opportunity for Thematic Funds in Europe

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Mark Horan

Mark Horan

Senior Account Manager, Europe

Stay Ahead of the Curve

Demand is quickly ramping up across European investors for thematic funds. Explore opportunities for innovation and distribution.

Growth and Opportunity

Assets in thematic funds and ETFs domiciled in Europe grew from €36.1 billion in 2016 to €182.0 billion at the end of 2020, a 404% increase. Active thematic mutual fund assets grew from €34.6 billion to €159.5 billion over this period; thematic ETF assets grew from €1.6 billion to €22.6 billion. During last year, the assets of Europe-domiciled thematic funds and ETFs increased 90% year-on-year: active funds grew 82% and ETFs grew 165%.


Assets Under Management and Net New Flows of European Thematic Mutual Funds and ETFs, 2016–2020 (€ billions)

exhibit 3.01




European Thematic Fund Assets Under Management by Theme, 2020 (€ billions)

exhibit 3.02
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Source: Morningstar, Cerulli Associates

Distributors’ Appetite

Around one-third (34%) of the private banks Cerulli surveyed in Europe believe that thematic ETF assets will grow rapidly over the next two years. Independent wealth managers are also poised to increase their use of thematic products: 26% of those we surveyed expect these products’ assets to grow rapidly over the same period.

What’s Next?

Although 2020 will be remembered for the above-par performance of thematic funds and ETFs, growth in this domain is still under way. 96% of the asset managers Cerulli surveyed across Europe believe that active thematic funds will continue to grow over the next 12 to 24 months— 14% anticipate fast growth of these products’ assets and 51% expect moderate growth.


Asset Managers' Views on the Likely Growth of Thematic Fund Assets by Strategy, 2021

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Analyst Note: Asset managers were asked what level of growth they expect for thematic funds over the next 12 to 24 months

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Subject Matter Experts

André Schnurrenberger, CFA

André Schnurrenberger, CFA

Managing Director, Europe

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André Schnurrenberger, CFA

André Schnurrenberger, CFA

Managing Director, Europe

André Schnurrenberger is the managing director of EMEA for Cerulli Associates and leads all research, consulting, and business activities in the region. Since joining Cerulli Associates, André has focused on wider distribution and product trends across European asset managers and has worked with some of the largest global investment firms, reviewing their product shelves, enhancing their business models, and helping them define strategies for future growth.

Prior to joining Cerulli, André spent 7 years at Columbia Threadneedle Investments, most recently as head of Business Management and Market Intelligence & Research for EMEA Distribution, and before that as Head of Performance. He held previous roles at UBS Wealth Management in Zurich and London, including Head of Investment Analytics and Performance.

Full biography here.

Justina Deveikyte, CAIA

Justina Deveikyte, CAIA

Director

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Justina Deveikyte, CAIA

Justina Deveikyte, CAIA

Director

Justina joined Cerulli Associates in February 2014 and heads the European Institutional Asset Management research practice. In her role, she is responsible for all research activities relating to institutional investors, the firm’s analysis of alternative investments, the newly created environmental, social, governance (ESG) section, and all data-science-based activities. She also contributes to multiple strategic consulting engagements and The Cerulli Edge series.

Justina is the lead author of several Cerulli reports, covering insurance, retirement, ESG, and alternative investments. Throughout her career, she has successfully developed partnerships with industry associations and has presented at several conferences and events across the Europe.

Prior to joining Cerulli, Justina was a Financial Manager and Global Analyst at Global Food Consulting; she previously has provided professional advice on banking products, including unit-linked insurance and third-pillar pension products at SEB Bank Group.

Full biography here.

Fabrizio Zumbo

Fabrizio Zumbo

Associate Director

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Fabrizio Zumbo

Fabrizio Zumbo

Associate Director

Fabrizio leads the European Retail/Wholesale Asset Management research practice, which focuses on analyzing asset management product development trends, investment, operational and marketing strategies, market and distribution dynamics, regulatory changes, and performing market and competitive intelligence in the United Kingdom, Continental Europe, and the Nordics.

Prior to joining Cerulli, Fabrizio served as a Lead Industry Analyst at State Street in London and as a Senior Analyst & Research Editor for the PwC’s Global Market Research Centre in Luxembourg. Previously, he carried out several field-based research projects in emerging and frontier markets for international market research and economic consulting firms, spending almost five years performing economic and industry analyses in several countries in Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East.

Full biography here.

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