Large managers disappoint French funds

FRANCE - Large asset management companies lost credibility with French pension funds during the sub-prime lending crisis, according to a study.

While 68% of institutions said information was provided quickly about the turbulent markets and its impact on investments, some of the information from larger asset managers was considered ambiguous, rating firm MultiRatings found in a survey among 35 French institutional investors, 44% of which were pension funds.

Further analysis reveals 26% of investors included in the study said there received no information at all from certain managers.

While 46% of those interviewed said the crisis affected the image of large asset managers negatively, only 11% said the same about specialised boutique asset managers.

MultiRatings found 66% of institutional investors were affected by the crisis, but only 6% heavily so, and only 20% reduced their exposure to money market funds with leverage such as ABS or CDOs.

As only 40% of investors increased their cash portfolio reducing exposure to riskier asset classes, the ratings firm concluded the impact the crisis had on French institutional investors is believed to be "quite low".

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