GERMANY - Equity funds in Germany lost almost €1bn worth of funding in April, according to the Bundesverband Investment und Asset Management (BVI).

The BVI, the German umbrella organisation for asset management companies, said the net outflow for equity funds came to €951m in April.

However, multi-asset funds and Spezialfonds - the institutional investors-only vehicle - remained strong, reporting inflows of €2.3bn and €2.7bn, respectively, over the same period.

Even equity funds were up by 30% year on year, the BVI said, with new investments coming to more than €2bn, bringing the total volume to about €211bn.

The BVI attributed the changes in equity fund volume to routine restructurings, as well as investors taking a more safety-conscious approach in the current market.

A spokesman for the organisation downplayed the significance of the changes, despite the sums of money involved, and said they were in line with usual market movements.

Multi-asset funds in particular have grown in popularity over the last few years, according to the BVI.

While in April 2007 their total volume came to just €52bn, by April of this year, it was more than €112bn.

The market also saw Spezialfonds increase in overall volume by almost 14% year on year - with €761bn, the fonds are now at levels higher than in April 2007, the BVI said.

A second study, released 8 June 2010, also showed German investors' willingness to appoint a new asset management company to tend their Spezialfond, with significant attention paid to a company's risk management and reporting procedures during the selection process.

The Spezialfondsmarktstudie 2010, by German consultancy Kommalpha and ratings agency TELOS, showed that Versorgungswerke, retirement funds for specific groups of professionals, and Pernsionskassen were particularly willing to rethink their asset managers.

Alexander Poppe, chief executive of HSBC INKA, attributed this change to the removal of administrative barriers, allowing investors to pursue the asset managers fulfilling all of their key requirements.

The research also showed growing interest in multi-asset Spezialfonds, something it attributed to their active management style and lower risks.

In 2006, only 21% of investors considered the multi-asset option.

However, by the end of 2009, this figure had increased to 46% of all Spezialfonds.