Nervous investors hit Aberdeen Asset Management shares

ABERDEEN Asset Management’s shares were hit yesterday as it revealed that ongoing investor nervousness amid volatile markets triggered a sharp slowdown in new client money in its third trading quarter.

Referring to the challenging investor backdrop, finance director Bill Rattray said: “We don’t see any end to it in 2012.”

The company, in a trading update to end-June, said it attracted £300 million of net new investor money, well under half the £700m reported in the same quarter of 2011.

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However, analysts noted net inflows for the quarter would add about £15m in annualised fee income. Gross new business fell to £8.8 billion from £10.9bn in the same three months last year. AAM’s shares closed down 2.5 per cent, or 6.4p, at 244.8p.

The company said assets under management reached £182.7bn, slightly down on three months earlier. Rattray said the business mix had improved, however, with more money being ploughed into higher margin equity products.

“Clearly we are pleased,” he said. “We would like to think its about our sustained performance and how we manage money.”

AAM said net equity inflows were “fairly evenly distributed” across Asia Pacific, global emerging markets and global equities.

Rattray said AAM would “keep our ear to the ground” for acquisition opportunities in the current volatile climate but that they were “more likely to be bolt-on, we are still mainly an organic growth story”.

Aberdeen said it would open an office in New York later this year as it tries to win more business in the United States, one of the world’s biggest asset pools.

The spotlight on faltering investor confidence switches to F&C Asset Management and Jupiter Fund next week when they update the market.