FRANCE / GERMANY / ITALY / BENELUX – Assets under management by European institutional managers only rose 38% in 2000, compared to 65% in 1999, though these results are still considered good given the volatile nature of the stock markets last year.

This is according to the European Asset Management Survey 2001 (EIAMS), undertaken in France, Germany, Italy and the Benelux countries and coordinated by Invesco Continental Europe to collate and consolidate the results of three independent surveys of institutional investors, who between them reportedly have €479bn under management.

Despite the overall slowdown in the growth of assets under management last year, the survey finds that 69% of the individual 125 respondents said that their assets under management had stabilised or increased. This is particular true of French managers, where more than 94% reported increases or stability.

Other findings include the fact that most European investors believe that alternatives will continue to grow as an asset class and that the use of consultants will also increase, despite this being an area where there are not any reported rises, with only 30%, saying they used consultants, the same last year.

Looking at traditional asset classes, France, Germany and Italy show continued prefences for fixed income, whilst their counterparts in the Benelux countries actually reported overweight exposure to equities.

The number of institutions that allocate part of their assets to external managers remains stable at around 60%, though the trend towards outsourcing in the Benelux region is developing faster than the European average, the report finds.

Fund of funds business is seemingly popular in France, but not yet in Germany, where an overwhelming majority of 90% claim they have never used these vehicles. There is also a discrepancy in the way European institutions view open-ended fund vehicles – little used in Germany but on the rise in France and Italy.