Calastone Global Fund Flows Report


Economic uncertainty continued into 2023 as it became the year of the bond. How have investors reacted to the new global economic climate? Find out in our latest report on global fund flows, analysing data from across our network.


Fund Values

  • Mutual funds recouped all of 2022’s lost assets under management in 2023
  • The value of mutual funds rose $10.7 trillion, returning to 2021’s record $70.9 trillion
  • Funds in the US saw the biggest increase reflecting the home-market bias of US investors
  • In local currency, Asian and Australian investors benefited from weak exchange rates

Trading Volumes

  • Trading volumes on Calastone’s platform increased 10.0% in 2023 to $1.07 trillion
  • Half the volume was in equity funds, with fixed income accounting for one quarter
  • Volatile markets typically deter transactions
  • Equity volumes picked up later in 2023 as markets calmed
  • Bond market volatility was lower in 2023, despite August to October’s yield surge, and volumes therefore rose
  • Money-market activity rose to record levels as investors sought high-yielding homes for surplus cash

Net Fund Flows

  • Changes in buying activity are also the key driver of net fund flows, not changes in selling
  • Net flows are a very small difference between large volumes of buying and selling – eg net inflow to equities is equal to just 2% of total transaction value in last 5 years

Fixed Income

  • Investors are keen to lock into high yields – net inflows totalled $22.2bn in 2023, driven by a one quarter increase in buy orders against no change in appetite to sell
  • Bond markets saw strong gains towards the end of the year after a turbulent few months
  • Investors everywhere were more positive on bond funds -Asian investors saw the biggest reversal of sentiment, switching from strong net selling in 2022 to strong net buying in 2023


  • Investors withdrew $7.1bn of capital from equity funds in 2023, and were especially negative from May onwards, but the outflow for the year was just over half the level seen in 2022
  • UK and European investors were the most negative in 2023
  • Outflows from equity funds across Asia were more modest

Active v Index

  • Passive funds were back in fashion in 2023, attracting net inflows of $20.1bn while active funds shed $27.2bn

ESG Backlash

  • After a three-year ESG boom with $51.2bn of inflows (6x more than non-ESG funds), ESG funds shed $10.2bn in 2023
  • European investors turned away from ESG first, but we now see the trend across our global network


  • The global economy has consistently surprised on the upside in the last couple of years but the outlook is very unclear
  • The prospects for asset prices are not the only driver of investors’ returns and asset managers’ profits
  • Complex, fragmented supply chains and layers of cost eat into profit margins and investor capital – cost is the biggest destroyer of value in the long-term
  • Newer generations of investors want a seamless digital experience, low cost and rapid settlement
  • Calastone’s technology is a major driver of lower costs – helping asset managers and investors to profit




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