Asset managers report on their successes and failures during the first half of the 2021, as investor sentiment remains strong despite continued lockdowns across Europe.

Man Group

Man Group has reached a record level of funds under management (FUM), with a rise of 9.5% over the six months to 30 June 2021 pushing the firm's assets to $135.3bn.

H1 2021 marked a reversal of the firm's fortunes, raking in $1.2bn of net inflows, compared to losing the same amount to outflows in H1 2020.

While inflows helped shore up the business' FUM, the majority of the growth was driven by a positive investment performance of $9.5bn, compared with negative performance of $5.4bn in the same period of 2020.

Positive market movements including FX also bolstered the growth in assets, adding $1bn to the figure.

Last September, the firm initiated a share repurchasing programme of $100m, of which it had completed $99m by 27 July 2021, and as a result of "advantageous" conditions, Man Group is set to launch a second share buyback of $100m.

A strong half saw the firm pay 47% more in compensation compared with the first half of 2020, with performance fees up almost ten-fold from the same period to a figure of $284m.

Chief executive office of Man Group, Luke Ellis, said: "The first half was a period of excellent growth for Man Group as we reached record funds under management, continued a trend of positive net inflows, and grew management fee profit by 51% and total profit per share by 246%.

"This growth was predominantly driven by strong investment performance for our clients, resulting in both material performance fees from our quantitative strategies and a significant uplift in management fees.

"The firm's momentum continues as we enter the second half, supported by strong performance fee optionality, a high level of client engagement and a strong sales pipeline. We remain focused on investing in our talent and technology, which are the foundations of the firm and cement our sustainable competitive advantage."

The company declared an interim dividend increase of 14% to 5.6 cents per share as core earnings per share increased 246% to 18.7 cents.

St James's Place

St James's Place has revealed that gross inflows climbed 27% year-on-year to £9.2bn from £7.3bn, and group funds under management rose 11% to a record £143.8bn in the first half of the year.

The wealth manager also reported a pretax profit of £482.6m, recovering from a £71.9m loss a year earlier.

The company declared an interim dividend of 11.55 pence per share, representing 30% of prior full year dividend.

"Retention has remained strong through the period, resulting in net inflows of £5.5bn in the first half, equivalent to 8.6% of opening funds under management on an annualised basis," chief executive Andrew Croft said.

"These net inflows, together with the positive impact from investment markets, has resulted in funds under management closing the half at a record," he added.

St James's Place is now represented by 4,477 qualified advisers across the partnership, an increase of 139 year to-date.

"Although there remains inherent uncertainty in the operating environment as the UK and the world at large continues to navigate the pandemic, the results we have announced today show we have made an encouraging start against our 2025 ambitions," Croft said.

The wealth manager wants to reach £200bn in funds under management by 2025.