GERMANY- Germany’s Spezialfonds and their managers faced one of the toughest and most turbulent years in 2001 when the value of assets fell for the first time since the creation of the funds in the late 1960s. As the figures below suggest (see link) some investment managers were able to maintain the value of investments and the numbers of funds while others saw their assets drop enormously.

Deka Investment Management remains the largest manager in terms of both assets and the number of funds. The latest figure of e47.9bn is up e655m from last March and Deka has taken on a further twenty eight funds.

Deutsche Asset Management, with e41.7bn in second position, is managing e1.1bn more that it was last March despite losing eight funds. Dresdnerbank Investment Management maintains its third place despite 2001 taking its toll. At the end of the year it managed 486 funds with a total of e32.4bn in assets, down from 524 funds at the end of March when it oversaw e37.7bn.

The success story in terms of assets managed comes from Allianz who has risen from seventh to fourth place in the nine months to the end of 2001. Although it lost seven funds, it managed to increase assets under management by e2.8bn to e30.3bn.

MEAG Munich and Commerzinvest were both pushed down a position by Allianz to a respective fifth and sixth position. Their figures for assets under management and number of funds remained similar over 2001. Universal in seventh place took on a further e3.8bn during the nine months to the end of 2001 and added another nineteen funds to its roster.

Last year the value of assets invested in Spezialfonds fell for the first time in their 33-year history by 1.4% to €506.9bn. In contrast through, the number of funds rose to 5,550, compared with 5,328 in 2000. The fall was due more to the decline in worldwide capital markets than a fall in sales, although new inflows into Spezialfonds declined to €41.3bn last year, compared with €45.4bn in 2000.

Of those Spezialfonds investing in equities and debt, the proportion allocated abroad rose to 51.4% in 2001, the first time it has exceed 50%. This figure has been steadily rising from around 18% in 1996. However the so-called equity culture appears to have been in retreat in 2001, with the equity content of Spezialfonds shrinking seven points to 38% between 2000 and 2001.