Germany – The assets in Spezialfonds, used for institutional mandates, grew by 8 per cent in 2003 to 508 billion euros in 5,104 securities based funds. Real estate Spezialfonds saw assets rise by 1.2 billion euros to 12.3 billion euros in 61 funds.

According to figures from Frankfurt-based BVI, the German funds industry association, total institutional assets rose to 615 billion euros when 95.2 billion euros managed for institutional investors but not within Spezialfonds is included. This is the so called ‘free mandates’ business that KAGs are now able to handle.

For the first time, BVI gives a figure of the Spezialfonds business that is managed or advised externally to KAGs and as such is a measure of the growth of the Master-KAG structures. Here the total figure is 95.2 billion euros, of which 32.7 billion euros is attributable to Universal-Investment, the market leader in Master-KAG provision.

Dbi and Universal had the strongest growth in Spezialfonds of all groups last year, each with 5.4 billion euros in net new assets. Between them, they accounted for nearly 50% of the new inflows into Spezialfonds.

Universal claims that it is market leader in the Master-KAG market, with 35.9 billion euros in assets, of which 32.7 billion euros are externally advised. Universal managing director Bernd Wagner says the trend to Master-KAG is continuing strongly in 2004.

Helaba Invest had significant inflows of 3.5 billion euros,bringing its total assets in 211 Spezialfonds to 13.2 billion euros. It attributes part this growth to its Master-KAG product. “It is one of our three-pronged market strategy,” the group said.

Other groups with strong 2003 inflows include MEAG Kag with 3.8bn and Activest with 3.2 billion euros, but many groups showed outflows for the year. Union Investment Institutional had a positive inflow of 2 billion euros, thanks to its Immuno and other product areas.

Its sister KAG, Union Investment Privatfonds saw a substantial outflow of 3.2 euro billions, which was due to one of its clients DZ Bank withdrawing its Spezialfonds, for strategic balance sheet reasons. It had nothing to do with performance or quality issues, Union stressed.

The 10 biggest KAGs in the Speziafonds marketplace at end 2003 in euro billions AUM were: dbi 68.4; DEKA 45.2; DeAM 41; Universal 35.9; Activest 34.1; MEAG Kag 30.6; Union 28.4; ComInvest 21.7; WestAM 20.7 and Bayern Invest 13.3. Of the 12.3 billion euros in real estate Spezialfonds, 5.2 billion euros was with OIK, the Oppenheim group.