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Specialist asset classes see greatest increases in Luxembourg

The growing popularity of hedge funds and real estate funds helped Luxembourg's fund industry to a fourth year of strong growth.

The 13th annual Luxembourg Fund Encyclopaedia published by Lipper Fitzrovia highlights that domiciled fund assets rose to USD 2,442.2 billion (EUR 1,856.0 billion) at year end 2006, up from USD 1,797.2 billion (EUR 1,527.6 billion) in 2005. Within this total, assets in equity funds approached the USD 1 trillion mark (USD 998.6 billion).

Ed Moisson, Director of European Fiduciary Operations at Lipper Fitzrovia, said: 'It is among more specialised asset classes that percentage increases in fund assets are greatest. Alternative investment funds (primarily hedge funds) more than doubled to reach USD 67.1 billion, up from USD 27.8 billion last year (excluding funds of hedge funds). Real estate funds increased assets by over 200% and reached USD 17.9 billion.'

Among newly launched funds, while European equity funds and European bond funds attracted the greatest assets (USD 21.7 billion and USD 18.3 billion), newly launched real estate funds held assets of USD 9.9 billion. Interestingly, funds investing in India were the fourth largest sector (USD 3.5 billion) among newly launched equity products.

Turning to the service providers, JPMorgan Bank maintained its position as the largest administrator by total net assets (USD 300.4 billion), ahead of RBC Dexia (USD 194.7 billion) and UBS (USD  191.7 billion). Likewise for custody services, JPMorgan Bank retained first place with USD 366.1 billion, with UBS in second place (USD 191.7 billion).

For professional firms, PricewaterhouseCoopers sustains its dominance in auditing 4,179 funds. Among the legal advisers, Arendt & Medernach was just ahead of Elvinger Hoss & Prussen, advising 2,415 funds and 2,383 funds respectively. However, Elvinger Hoss & Prussen has maintained its leading market share by total net assets.

The largest five promoters of Luxembourg-domiciled funds all have total net assets over USD100 billion, headed by UBS (USD181.7 billion) and JPMorgan (USD 180.4 billion), and followed by Pioneer Investments, DekaBank, and Deutsche Bank/DWS.

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