The French asset management industry association AFG reported on 11 February a 3.5% growth of assets under management in 2014, with some 638 companies managing €3,227bn at the end of December 2014.
The number of asset management companies also increased last year, with 39 new firms created in the industry.
“Most of those companies were launched because of the implementation of the AIFM directive, which allows some companies to become collective investment institutions (CII). Turning CII, those firms take the status of asset management companies,” AFG director general Pierre Bollon said.
He added: “The dynamism led by the creation of new companies matters, not the total number of companies. Those firms are undeniably destined to merge. I would not find it dramatic if the number of asset management companies in France would go under 600.”
Foreign funds recorded a 4.2% growth where assets from French funds increased by 2.7%.
“Growth is coming from abroad, as often. The French market is stable,” said Bollon.
In context of falling interest rates, classic bond products registered net subscriptions and performances beating records.
French asset management clients benefited from positive market effects that supported the appreciation of equity funds.
In 2014, financial investments by households in France stabilized at a historic low level. AFG explained net subscriptions for life insurance have doubled and the interest for regulated savings was low, except building savings plan, and short-term banking vehicles.