Fees on US equity funds fell to a new record low last year, as relentless pressure from cheaper index-tracking rivals forced asset managers to slash costs in a bid to staunch heavy outflows.
The phenomenon has been dubbed “feemageddon” by some analysts. Coupled with a massive migration by investors from active funds to cheaper passive ones, it sent the shares of listed US asset managers down more than a quarter in 2018 — the worst annual performance since the financial crisis. “The industry is going through dramatic changes,” said Martin Flanagan, the head of Invesco, in a recent interview with the Financial Times. “Winners and losers are being created today like never before. The strong are getting stronger and the big are going to get bigger.”