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Alternatives drive inflows at buoyant AXA IM

Record capital raise

Alternatives are in high demand at AXA IM, helping drive the 25% increase in underlying earnings and bolstering assets under management, according to its 2021 full-year earnings.

AXA IM Alts raised €18.2bn of capital across 2021, of which €10.2bn was third party money, with the bulk of the funds directed towards its private debt and alternative credit, and real estate equity arms.

Capital raised from third parties was almost equally spread across European and non-European clients and helped push AUM at the alternatives business up 14% year-on-year to €183bn, with revenues up 18% to €591m, accounting for more than a third of total AXA IM revenues.

Across its core business, fixed income was the target of third-party clients as they sought to protect capital from inflation.

A variety of bond products welcomed this attention, particularly total return, and buy and maintain credit, while green bonds exceeded the €1bn threshold.

ESG remains important for third-party clients as ESG-integrated assets account for roughly 75% of net inflows.

These flows entered the vast majority of funds at the firm, with 88% of eligible funds and strategies now classified as Article 8 or 9 under SFDR.

Executive chair of AXA IM Marco Morelli said: "2021 has been an excellent year for AXA IM, with exceptional operational performance illustrated by strong revenues and underlying earnings growth. This was fuelled by both investment business units, AXA IM Alts and AXA IM Core, and all client segments.

"As allocators of capital, it is our responsibility to play a leading role in the transition to a more sustainable economy. We have increased ESG disclosures, bolstered our ESG offering and the channelling of capital towards sustainable strategies, set up stricter standards for climate laggards and the oil & gas sector and focused engagement initiatives.

"Looking ahead, this set of results is a strong basis for perpetual sustainable growth and the delivery of long-term value for our clients, as we continue to act as Stewards for Progress - as an investor, an employer and business."