UK – Trustees are becoming more interested in multi-manager products, says the head of a multi-manager trade group.

“The level of trustee interest in multi-manager products, driven by consultants, has grown incredibly over the last fifteen months,” says Guy Davies, chairman of AIMMI, the Association for Institutional Multi-Manager Investing.

The four founder members of the association - Attica Asset Management, AXA Multimanager, Escher Teams and Northern Trust – have together won 600 million pounds (857.8 million euros) in new mandates during the last fifteen months. This represents 61 new institutional client relationships.

AIMMI is trying to heighten the multi-manager concept with consultants and trustees, aiming at the smaller-sized pension funds, for which multi-manager can offer diversification of individual portfolio manager style, and yet access to specialists. The association hopes to widen its membership this year, and form a ‘bigger voice”.

Growth of the multi-manager industry has been “exponential” over the last three years says Davies, and this growth is expected to continue.

“With the majority of investment consultants embracing the concept as an alternative to traditional solutions and trustees becoming more aware of its benefits, we expect substantial growth over the coming years. We plan to release a quarterly statement outlining the progress being made by AIMMI’s members on an ongoing basis,” says Davies.

Boston-based asset management research and consulting firm, Cerulli Associates recently released a report claiming that although multi-manager products, comprising manager of managers vehicles and funds of funds, may not have escaped the bear market, but the overall trends favouring growth in the industry remain firmly in place.