Abrdn Plc’s shares fell after clients pulled more money from its funds in the first half, underlining the challenges facing the asset manager as it tries to diversify while outflows hit the sector.
(Bloomberg) — Abrdn Plc’s shares fell after clients pulled more money from its funds in the first half, underlining the challenges facing the asset manager as it tries to diversify while outflows hit the sector.
The Edinburgh-based firm recorded net outflows of £5.2 billion ($6.6 billion) in the six months through June, the firm said in a statement Tuesday. That compares with an average £3.08 billion of outflows forecast by analysts polled by Bloomberg. Assets dropped to £495.7 billion from £500 billion at the end of 2022.
To stop Abrdn bleeding assets, Chief Executive Officer Stephen Bird has been trying to diversify the firm and simplify its asset management business. The restructuring has been going on for several months and recently the firm’s former flagship Global Absolute Return Strategies fund, which at its 2016 peak reached £27 billion, was merged into another fund after losing more than 90% of it assets.
Abrdn fell in early London trading, dropping as much as 10.1%. It was down 9.7% at 10:52 a.m.
Bird said Abrdn’s asset management business needs to be restored to a higher level of profitability and that there is still work to be done to complete the transformation of the firm. He reiterated his confidence in the current strategy and dismissed speculation that the firm could look to sell off parts of its business.
“A break up is out of the question,” Bird said in a phone interview. “You can’t respond to the cycle by looking at just one part of the business.”
The active asset management industry is trying to emerge from a long stretch of outflows. Abrdn said it faced “continued challenging market conditions” in the first half, with net outflows driven by the “‘risk-off’ environment.”
Last week, Janus Henderson Group Plc recorded net redemptions of $500 million for the three months through June, while Jupiter Fund Management Plc, which has seen billions of net outflows over the past few years, saw its shares jump more than 10% when it reported a modest £23 million of net inflows for the the first half of the year.
Last month Abrdn appointed Aviva Plc veteran Jason Windsor as its new chief financial officer after Stephanie Bruce left earlier this year. In recent months, it has also seen a wave of senior departures, including Chris Demetriou, Abrdn’s asset management boss for the US, Europe, Middle East and Africa, and Neil Slater, head of real estate and real assets.
Read more: Abrdn’s Head of Real Estate to Depart to Take Helm at Redevco
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