Fund companies report lower AUM on falling markets

By James Langton | April 3, 2020 | Last updated on April 3, 2020
2 min read
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The impact on Canada’s fund industry from stock markets’ wild ride over the past few weeks is starting to show up in reporting on sales and assets from a couple of major fund managers.

Winnipeg-based fund giant IGM Financial Inc. reported that its overall assets under management (AUM) dropped 9.2% in March, finishing the month at $147.5 billion.

The size of the decline was consistent across IGM’s major subsidiaries, with IG Wealth Management reporting a 9.4% decline in AUM, the Mackenzie Investments family down 9.0% and Investment Planning Counsel’s assets down 9.6%.

Within Mackenzie, ETFs were hit harder than mutual funds. Its ETF assets dropped 9.6% in March, whereas mutual fund AUM was down 8.9%.

For Toronto-based independent fund giant CI Financial Corp., overall AUM was down 11.7% in March to $112.2 billion, and its assets under advisement declined 10.6% to $43.7 billion.

By comparison, the S&P/TSX Composite index dropped 17.4% in the month, and the S&P 500 was down 12.4% in U.S.-dollar terms.

While the market drops were the biggest factor in asset declines in March, both firms also reported investor outflows.

Overall, IGM recorded $545.3 million in net outflows for March, with $476.4 million coming out of its mutual funds and $111.5 million from its ETFs.

This was partially offset by $42.6 million of “inter-product elimination” as money from various mutual funds was invested in company ETFs.

For the quarter, IGM managed net inflows of $324.2 million, up slightly from $308.8 million for the same period in 2019.

CI reported its preliminary sales results for the first quarter, rather than just the month of March.

The firm said that its its Canadian retail business recorded $1.2 billion in net redemptions for Q1, while its institutional business had $0.8 billion in net redemptions and its international business saw $0.4 billion in net redemptions.

“Following significantly improved flows in January and February, the volatility on global financial markets driven by Covid-19 has naturally affected our AUM and led to increased redemptions in the month of March,” said Kurt MacAlpine, CI’s CEO, in a statement.

“With the ongoing uncertainty, redemptions moved higher at the end of March and included one large institutional redemption. However, flows in our Canadian retail business have still improved year over year, with gross sales up 50% and net redemptions improved by 25% compared to the first quarter of 2019,” he added.

Toronto’s AGF Management Ltd. also reported that its total AUM declined by 8.3% in March to $34.3 billion. However, its private alternative AUM ticked up in the month, rising from $2.7 billion in February to $2.9 billion in March. Excluding that category, its assets dropped by 9.5% to $31.4 billion. Its total mutual fund AUM was down 9.7% to $16.7 billion from $18.5 billion.

AGF didn’t report any data on fund sales for March.

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James Langton

James is a senior reporter for and its sister publication, Investment Executive. He has been reporting on regulation, securities law, industry news and more since 1994.