GERMANY - Property fund manager Oppenheim Immobilien KAG (OIK), bond specialist Pimco and Axa Investment Managers have elicited the most criticism in a new survey of German institutional investors.

According to the study, unveiled by trade publication Institutional Investment, OIK was criticised by five out of the 101 investors surveyed. Two of the criticisms had to with OIK's service while two were related to fund performance and service.

The reason for the other criticism was not disclosed. But two of the investors said they would terminate their business with OIK, a unit of quoted real estate firm IVG Immobilien.

Axa IM's German arm was criticised by four investors, three of whom said fund performance was the problem. The other criticism had to with service provided by Axa IM's real estate outfit.

Pimco, a unit of Allianz Global Investors, was also criticised by four investors, twice due to fund performance and twice due to fund performance and service. The disgruntled investors did not, however, indicate whether they would sever their links with Pimco or Axa IM.

Finally, three investors criticised Goldman Sachs Asset Management for high spreads in commodity-index trading.

"I have to say I was surprised that several German investors decided to openly criticise their asset managers," said Frank Schnattinger, editor-in-chief of Institutional Investment.

"Five to 10 years ago, this would have been unimaginable. Back then, investors were far more reluctant to criticise. For asset managers, this means that the pressure to perform is building," Schnattinger told IPE.

IVG said that it was "aware" of the survey's findings but had no further comment.

For Pimco, managing director Jay Jacobs said that while "any negative mentions are disappointing, one has to consider that we are the market leader (for fixed income) in Germany."

"I also think that maybe some of what these investors were saying had to do with the overall poor performance of bond markets last year," Jacobs told IPE from Munich.

Axa IM was not able to comment on the survey prior to deadline.

Partaking in the survey were 101 institutional investors, including banks, insurers, pension funds (22%), companies and foundations. These investors hold €500bn in assets between them.

On the positive side, Germany's Metzler Asset Management was praised by ten investors for its performance with respect to risk management and overlay strategies.

UnionPanAgora was complimented by eight investors for its performance with respect to quantitative strategies while exchange-traded-fund provider Indexchange got seven positive reviews for its fee structure.

Other houses with seven positive mentions were State Street Bank (service) and German fund administrator Universal-Investment (communication).