The total number of funds registered for sale in Europe has fallen in each quarter for more than two years, according to research by Lipper.
The Lipper Fund Market Insight Report shows a net decrease of 425 products in the second quarter of 2013, taking the total number of funds available to 31,877 and marking the ninth consecutive quarter of falls.
There were 502 fund liquidations in Q2, up from 396 in Q1 but down from 522 in Q2 2012.
Fund mergers increased from a year ago by 74 per cent to 355, up from 204, and by 4 per cent from Q1 2013.
The 355 mergers involved 109 equity funds, 96 bond funds, 68 mixed-asset funds, 28 ‘other’ funds and 54 money market products. A total of 432 new products were launched, down from 435 in Q1 and down 6 per cent from 458 in Q2 2012.
The Q2 launches comprised 116 equities, 165 bonds, 111 mixed assets, 34 ‘others’ and six money market funds.
The 31,877-strong European fund universe consists of 37 per cent equities, 25 per cent mixed-asset products, 22 per cent bonds, 11 per cent “others” and 5 per cent money market funds.
Last week, both Neptune and Henderson announced a number of fund mergers as part of a rationalisation of their portfolios.
Henderson is set to merge away three funds. The fund group will merge the £65m Henderson European Smaller Companies fund with the £921m Henderson European Growth fund, managed by Richard Pease. Also, the $35m (£22.6m) Henderson Global Focus fund will merge into the £60m Henderson International fund, both managed by Matthew Beesley. The £17.2m Henderson UK Strategic Income fund will merge with the Henderson Core 5 Income fund, managed by Bill McQuaker.
Neptune is merging its £19m UK Equity and £33m UK Special Situations funds, managed by Scott MacLennan. Following this change, the UK Special Situations fund will be renamed as the Neptune UK Opportunities fund.
Capital Asset Management chief executive Alan Smith says: “It is welcome that the number of funds is reducing but there is still a ridiculously high number of funds out there and that needs to reduce even further.”
Overview of new fund launches, mergers and closures of investment funds: