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RCM sees assets drop by 32% but stays ahead

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AUSTRIA - Raiffeisen Capital Management (RCM) suffered outflows and losses of €12.2bn in the first 10 months of this year but maintained its market leadership, officials have claimed.

Assets under management fell by 32% to €25.8bn, which is a larger drop than the market average in Austria of -23.2% down to €125.8bn. The asset management division of the Raiffeisen Group had to cede 1.5 percentage points of its 22% market share to other competitors but remains in the lead before Erste Sparinvest (18.5%) and Pioneer Investments (16.2%). The decline in assets under management was in equal share down to investment losses and outflows, explained Mathias Bauer, CEO of RCM. Institutional assets, which make up roughly 60% of all assets under management, also fell by 27% to €15.6bn. However, Bauer pointed out some investors were already getting back into some asset classes including equities, bonds and real estate. Dieter Aigner, head of the Raiffeisen Immobilien KAG, has recently been called onto the board of RCM in addition to his position as real estate manager to replace Andreas Zakostelsky who is now head of the ÖPAG Pensionskasse. (See earlier IPE-article: Ziegelbecker goes federal) According to Aigner, institutional real estate funds saw a growth by 11% this year until the end of November. But the manager warned volatility will play a much bigger part in real estate investments as well in the future. In general, the management board which also includes Gerhard Aigner, told journalists in Vienna today they were optimistic about 2009, as they expect a stabilisation in markets and slow but steady growth in the fund industry. Bauer, who is currently also head of EFAMA, announced RCM will focus more on core competences than on the creation of new products. The asset manager will also ease its commitment in Eastern Europe as the turbulence of recent last months means "asset management has been pushed to the back a bit", as Bauer phrased it. That said, he vowed RCM will continue to accompany Raiffeisen International, the CEE arm of the group, in its operations. RCM also announced it had replaced crisis-ridden AIG as its adviser on fund-of-hedge-funds to replace it with K2, the US fund of hedge fund specialist - another of RCM's co-operation partners in this field.

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