IRELAND - The continuing fall in equity markets compounded the run of negative returns for Irish managed funds in the first quarter of this year with average returns to 31 March standing at –5%, according to data from Irish actuarial consultant Coyle Hamilton.

Average performance for Irish pooled funds over three years now stands at –10.7% per annum and –2.3% over five years.

According to Coyle Hamilton, the top performing funds over one and three years have been the Bank of Ireland and New Ireland (managed by Bank of Ireland) funds, whilst only three funds, New Ireland, Montgomery Oppenheim and Bank of Ireland have recorded positive returns over five years.

Scottish fund management house, Baillie Gifford, recently closed its Irish pooled fund, saying that the firm is focusing the business towards a more specialist approach with the country’s larger institutions.

Ross Lidstone, head of overseas marketing at Baillie Gifford: “We have around 200 million euros under management in Ireland, so there is no lessening of our focus.

“We closed a small pooled fund because we felt the Irish market at the smaller and larger end was looking for more tailored solutions rather than the standard balanced approach. Because of that we didn’t think the fund had the potential to grow significantly and it was rather small in size so we decided to close it down.”