Ninety One suffers asset plunge as volatility hits

Tuesday, November 15, 2022 9:05 a.m.

Ninety One has been hit by market volatility

London-listed asset manager Ninety One said it suffered an 8% drop in assets in the first six months of the year as its holdings were rocked by rising interest rates and the surge in inflation.

Company bosses said it had weathered ‘challenging operating conditions’ in the six months to the end of September as its assets fell to £132.3bn from £140bn sterling at the same time last year.

The company’s flows reversed as investors withdrew £3.2bn from its funds in a bid to protect their cash from market turmoil.

The fall in assets comes amid a torrid period for fund managers in the capital who have haemorrhaged flows and suffered sharp declines in asset valuations.

Ninety One boss Hendrik Du Toit warned that the difficult environment for investors showed no signs of abating.

“The high levels of customer engagement couldn’t counter the impact of this environment on our bottom line. We saw net outflows in the first half, driven by lower new business volumes and clients de-risking the portfolio,” he said in a statement.

“We expect these difficult conditions to persist for the foreseeable future.”

He added that the firm remained “committed to our long-term strategy” and would focus its attention on managing our clients’ investments to the “standards they expect”.

Ninety One becomes the latest investor to report a killer run this year as inflation hits.

Schroders said its assets fell by £21bn in a recent market update, while fund manager Jupiter also reported a drop of £1.4bn to £47.4bn sterling in its AUM at the end of September. FTSE 250 investor Liontrust said more than £1.6bn was withdrawn from its funds in the three months to September.