GLOBAL – Credit Suisse says more new investment flows are going to a small number of fund managers as it becomes more difficult for active managers to outperform.

“Passive investment strategies are gaining share at the expense of active managers as markets develop, and a larger share of new investment flows are being directed to a small number of fund managers,” the bank said.

It said the operating environment for asset management “improved somewhat” in 2004 with higher equity indices and low interest rates.

“The demographic profile of most developed countries suggests medium-term growth opportunities as ageing populations seek to invest for retirement,” the Zurich-based group said in its annual report.

“Nevertheless, the continuing development of markets makes it increasingly difficult for active asset managers to outperform, and the regulatory environment for mutual funds remains uncertain.

“Structured and alternative investments are expected to continue to gain in importance.”

It added that competition for “attractive alternative investments” such as private equity would remain intense and contribute to increasingly large private equity investments.

Credit Suisse added that it would look at a possible public offering of its Winterthur insurance group.

Elsewhere, Mellon Europe has named two new co-chairs, Jon Little and Helena Morrisey. They replace Jack Klinck, who is returning to the US.

Little is chief executive of Mellon Global Investments and Morrissey is CEO at Mellon’s Newton Investment Management arm.