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British investment manager Polar Capital has revealed that its assets under management (AuM) dropped 12% on a year-on-year basis to £12.2bn at the end of March 2020.

The firm attributed the fall to the impact of the pandemic and a sharp fall in the oil price, which led to a fall in global equity markets.

The AuM dipped by £1.9bn in the three months ended 31 March 2020.

The firm’s AuM as of 31 March 2019 was £13.8bn.

Polar Capital recorded net outflows of £1.2bn in the 12-month period and a fall of £500m due to market movement. However, this was offset by fund performance.

The firm reported positive net flows for the first two months of the March quarter.

However, it was hit in the March quarter when clients pulled out £140m of money.

Of the £140m net outflows, £135m were from alternative funds

Polar Capital CEO Gavin Rochussen said: “The coronavirus pandemic and oil price collapse brought an abrupt end to the longest bull market in history with the S&P500 declining 34% over a four-week period to its low point on 22 March. A strong rally to 31 March followed unprecedented fiscal and monetary stimulus to ensure economies and markets continued to function.

“Polar Capital was not immune to this equity market volatility with our AuM decreasing by £1.9bn in the March quarter alone because of market declines.

“Leading up to and throughout the period of lock-down as we invoked our business continuity plan and transitioned to entirely remote working it has been pleasing to witness the operational resilience of Polar Capital and its ability to continue servicing clients in a seamless manner.”