Fund firm Polar's assets soar to $5 billion

LONDON Mon Apr 16, 2012 11:13am BST

LONDON (Reuters) - Fund firm Polar Capital saw its total assets rise above $5 billion (3 billion pounds) after another quarter of client inflows, as a number of investment managers benefit from a rebound in financial markets and investor sentiment this year.

The London-based firm, which has been winning clients to its mutual funds while seeing outflows from its hedge funds, posted net client inflows of more than $200 million over the three months to end-March.

The figures mean that Polar (POLR.L) has seen more than $1 billion of net client inflows over the past year, despite investor nervousness over the euro zone's debt crisis.

Its inflows come as a number of fund managers are profiting from rising markets on the back of the European Central Bank's 1 trillion euro cash injection to try to avert another credit crunch.

Last month Liontrust (LIO.L) said its assets had risen 13 percent this year while Man Group (EMG.L) reported lower outflows.

Jupiter (JUP.L) has also recently reported inflows, although its CEO Edward Bonham Carter said its core investor retail client base was nervous about buying into this year's rally in stocks in large numbers.

In contrast, Henderson (HGGH.L) CEO Andrew Formica said in February that, based on the first two months of 2012, UK retail clients were not yet being tempted back in great numbers into funds by the recovery in equity markets and net flows remained negative.

Polar now manages $5.1 billion, up from $4.2 billion at the end of last year.

"The improvement in markets during the last quarter has been helpful although we expect market conditions to remain volatile," the firm said in the statement.

It also said that it expected to see its hedge fund assets start growing again this financial year.

Last month chief executive and co-founder Tim Woolley sold 1 million pounds' worth of his shares.

(Editing by Helen Massy-Beresford)