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About Cameron

USA

+20 year(s) experience

Cameron Brandt, Director of Research, EPFR, headshot
Cameron Brandt, Director of Research at EPFR, an Informa Financial Intelligence business, monitors the firm’s vast database of mutual fund and exchange-traded fund flows and positioning data across global markets.

As director, Cameron mines EPFR data to isolate themes and identify relevant trends—whether a spike in leveraged bear bonds or shifts in emerging markets—to help buy- and sell-side institutions make more informed decisions. He heads a team of 10 quantitative and qualitative researchers for the database, which tracks around 130,000 share classes and represents roughly $40 trillion of assets under management.

Cameron co-authored an International Financing Review (IFR)-published study of fund flows and produces regular reports on trends that emerge from the data, directing the focus of the research based on clients’ interest.

He previously worked as a journalist at a number of regional papers in the U.S., as well as the managing editor of now-closed World Paper in Boston, publishing a theme-driven international affairs supplement in emerging economies.

Cameron, who grew up in Scotland and Ireland, spends most of his time outside work with his two teenaged children. He also spends much of his time fishing for tuna, trout, carp and salmon, partaking in a pastime he sees as one of the last bastions of true social diversity.

 

  • B.A., Economics and Political Science; Yale University

 

“I spent years as a journalist canvassing communities and interviewing people to find the most compelling stories for our readers. At Informa, my job is no different—I scour data tracking trillions of dollars looking for stories our clients can’t see. I build powerful narratives they can use to grow as a firm.”

Analyst Articles

Articles by Cameron

  • EPFR - fund flow & allocations data

    Investors buy American in late March

    Global Navigator

    The first quarter of 2021 ended with US Money Market, Equity and Bond Funds attracting a combined $68 billion as COVID-19 vaccination rates in the world’s largest economy continue to climb and stimulus fueled equity indexes hit fresh record highs. Only funds with global mandates enjoyed anything like the same level of flows during the final week of March, with Global Emerging Markets (GEM) and Global Equity Funds seeing year-to-date inflows hit $34 billion and $143 billion respectively and Global Bond Funds posting their biggest weekly inflow since early February. Investors continue to buy into funds with socially responsible (SRI) or environmental, social and governance (ESG) mandates. But appetite for exposure to emerging markets assets dimmed appreciably in late March with flows to Emerging Markets Equity Funds running at less than a third of the levels seen in February and Emerging Markets Bond Funds ending the quarter by posting their fourth outflow in the past six weeks. Both US equity markets and flows to EPFR-tracked US Hedge Funds appeared to shrug off the implosion of Archegos Capital, which triggered forced sales of some stocks when it defaulted on margin calls from creditor banks, and Financial Sector Funds also ended the week with a solid inflow.

    Topic Industry News

  • EPFR - fund flow & allocations data

    Volatility really could be different this time

    EPFR Central Banks

    After lying dormant for nearly a decade, volatility has started to rumble again. But the nature of volatility has changed, creating dangers and opportunities for investors. Market price swings have increased significantly since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic early last year. The volatility of global shares nearly tripled between 2019 and 2020; and the CBOE Volatility Index (Vix) remains at heightened levels compared to the last nine years. This comes when the world’s central banks have fired off unprecedented amounts of policy ammunition; the pandemic has injected uncertainty into daily life; environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles are disrupting long-established business models; and many assets have record-high prices. While some active managers may welcome greater volatility as a chance to display their tactical skills, most investors would rather it stayed low - especially the growing cohort of retirees. But how different will volatility be in the coming 18 months? And what are the options for avoiding it?

    Topic Industry News

  • EPFR - fund flow & allocations data

    Ownership Dispersion and Volatility in 2020

    Quants Corner

    Ownership Dispersion and Volatility in 2020 In an ideal world, the mechanics of buying and selling - irrespective of the amounts involved – will not influence the price of those securities. But in the real world the positioning of a security is an important factor in its own right, at least in the short term. A striking example of this was the ‘Flash Crash’ of May 6, 2010, where one benchmark US index lost around 9% of its value in under 10 minutes. Neither classical theory nor fundamental information provided any warning ahead of the event. The post-mortem focused on a wide range of issues from high frequency trading (through changes in market structure), to concentration of ownership...

    Topic Global Investment Flows

  • EPFR - fund flow & allocations data

    Treasury yields slip, ETF assets march higher

    Global Navigator

    Going into the final week of the first quarter, global markets were treading water amidst a welter of sometimes contradictory events and signals. A reporting period that started with the first quadruple witching of the year and ended with the Suez Canal blocked by a massive container ship also featured renewed lockdowns in Europe, yields on the US 10-year dropping back to the 1.6% level and North Korea testing nuclear capable missiles. Flows to EPFR-tracked funds reflected the general uncertainty, with net flows to Equity Funds less than a 15th of the previous week’s total while Bond Funds took in the equivalent of 0.14% of AUM and Money Market Funds recorded their biggest weekly inflow year-to-date. The week also saw the release of data showing that the assets managed by EPFR-tracked Equity, Bond, Alternative and Balanced Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) climbed past the $8 trillion mark in February. They passed the $7 trillion mark in August of last year, $6 trillion in November 2019, $5 trillion in January 2018, $4 trillion in May 2017, $3 trillion in March 2016, $2 trillion in July 2013 and $1 trillion in December 2009.

    Topic Industry News

  • EPFR - fund flow & allocations data

    Quants Corner - Inflation, Real Yields & the Million Dollar Question

    Quants Corner

    Austrian equities look an efficient choice give the dilemma facing investors today. Empirical analysis shows they benefit from rising inflation & from tighter financial conditions. While most analysis will divide winners from losers, a unique machine learning approach identifies key relationships between financial assets & their macro environment. And hence help investors find their optimal trade expression for any macro scenario. Read more...

    Topic Industry News

  • EPFR - fund flow & allocations data

    Flow records for Equity Funds tumble again in mid-March

    Global Navigator

    The first quarter of 2021 has been a bumpy one for fixed income investors as they weigh the consequences of US borrowing on a massive scale to fuel an economic rebound already well underway. But equity investors seem increasingly comfortable living in the moment, buying into an asset class that – especially in the US – seems destined to soar higher on the wings of both monetary and fiscal stimulus. EPFR-tracked Equity Funds, coming off a record-setting month in February, set another weekly mark in mid-March.

    Topic Industry News

  • EPFR - fund flow & allocations data

    Rising yields, Greensill collapse hit Bond Fund flows

    Global Navigator

    The week ending March 10 saw EPFR-tracked Bond Funds post their biggest outflow in nearly a year as concerns about US bond yields and the liquidation of funds linked to bankrupt supply chain finance company Greensill Capital chased over $15 billion from this fund group. While the specter of another wave of US Treasuries hitting the market contributed to the growing angst about global borrowing costs, the $1.9 trillion worth of stimulus they will be issued to finance added fresh fuel to the global reflation narrative. That narrative has lit a fire under flows to EPFR-tracked Equity Funds, which took in over $20 billion for the fifth straight week and remained on track for a new quarterly inflow record as year-to-date flows moved within striking distance of the $240 billion mark. That the flood of global debt issuance could undermine fiat currencies and generate uncomfortably high levels of inflation continues to worry a significant number of investors. Inflation Protected and Bank Loan Bond Funds extended their current inflow streaks, Commodities Sector Funds took in fresh money for the 19th time in the past 20 weeks and cash continues to flood into Cryptocurrency Funds.

    Topic Industry News

  • EPFR - fund flow & allocations data

    Europe Funds out of the money in early March

    Global Navigator

    Uncertainty about US 10-year yields, oil prices, the pace of Europe’s vaccination program and the progress of another US stimulus package kept global markets on edge during the week ending March 3. Investors responded by placing emphasis on the ‘global’ and ESG parts of the global reflation story, steering clear of Europe, adding to their inflation hedges and seeking more exposure to multi-asset strategies. The inflows recorded by Global and Global Emerging Markets (GEM) Equity Funds accounted for three-quarters of the headline number for all EPFR-tracked Equity Funds, year-to-date flows into Equity Funds with socially responsible (SRI) or environmental, social and governance (ESG) mandates hit the $55 billion mark, Inflation Protected Bond Funds recorded their 15th consecutive inflow and 37th in the past 40 weeks, Balanced Funds chalked up their fourth inflow since the beginning of February and Europe Equity, Bond and Money Market Funds all posted outflows. Overall, Equity Funds collectively absorbed a net $22.2 billion during the week ending March 3 while Balanced Funds took in $1.7 billion, Bond Funds $1.59 billion and Money Market Funds $15.7 billion. Among the major regional Money Market Fund groups, US MM Funds recorded inflows for the ninth time in the past 11 weeks while Europe Money Market Funds extended their longest outflow streak since EPFR started tracking them in 1Q07.

    Topic Industry News

  • EPFR - fund flow & allocations data

    ESG giving up its ring-side seat for a place in the ring

    ESG

    The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the world, sometimes radically, and will continue to do so for years to come. One of clearest examples of this change is the way environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles are becoming central to the policy debates and choices being made in most developed economies. This shift from the wings to center stage was already underway when the pandemic struck. But it has accelerated so fast that few doubt the global reflation that markets anticipated later this year will, for perhaps the first time, be shaped to a significant degree by the tenets of ESG. With this shift, however, comes some painful realities for advocates of ESG. As the father of New York’s current governor famously observed, policymakers tend to campaign in poetry but must govern in prose. That means being held responsible for policies that may generate short-term pain in pursuit of the greater good...

    Topic Industry News

  • EPFR - fund flow & allocations data

    Two weeks into the Year of the Ox, China funds see flows spike

    Global Navigation

    For Chinese citizens the Year of the Ox began on February 12. Horoscopes for this year say it is a good one for building up reserves and making long-term investments. During the week ending Feb. 24 investors appeared to be taking this to heart. China Bond Funds set a new weekly inflow record and China Equity Funds posted their second largest inflow since EPFR started tracking them while flows into Hong Kong Equity Funds hit a 24-week high.

    Topic Industry News

  • EPFR - fund flow & allocations data

    Emerging, green and global remain the preferred equity themes in mid-February

    Global Navigator

    Investors poured another $27.8 billion into EPFR-tracked Equity Funds during the week ending Feb. 17, with Emerging Markets, SRI/ESG and Global Equity Funds posting inflows for the sixth, 28th and 35th consecutive week respectively, as investors continue to position themselves for a global reflation story with green characteristics. That reflation may also come with unexpectedly high levels of inflation, especially in the US, remains a concern for some investors. Convertible Bond Funds set their second inflow record in as many weeks, Bank Loan Bond Funds extended their longest run of inflows since 3Q18 and Inflation Protected Bond Funds absorbed fresh money for the 50th time in the past 55 weeks. While Equity Funds with socially responsible (SRI) or environmental, social and governance (ESG) mandates enjoyed another solid week, SRI/ESG Bond Funds posted their second consecutive weekly inflow record and -- in relative terms -- are outgaining their equity counterparts for the first time since August.

    Topic Industry News

  • EPFR - fund flow & allocations data

    Fund flows respond as markets pencil in more icing on US cake

    Global Navigator

    The week ending February 10 saw key US equity indexes hit record highs as another sub-par jobs report for January boosted hopes of a third major stimulus package since the COVID-19 pandemic hit a year ago. Visions of another $1.9 trillion cascading through the US economy – and spilling over into those of major trading partners – also boosted flows into Equity Funds, which posted their biggest weekly total since EPFR started tracking them.

    Topic Industry News

  • EPFR - fund flow & allocations data

    Silver gets the retail medal going into February

    Global Navigator

    Retail efforts to squeeze real and perceived institutional short positions dominated the headlines for the second week running in early February. EPFR-tracked Silver Funds were carried along for the ride, setting a new inflow record during a week when retail investors switched their attention from GameStop shares and pushed the price of the precious metal up to an eight-year high. Retail investors also steered significant amounts of money towards fund groups offering exposure to the global reflation story expected during second half of the year, when better weather and widespread vaccination programs give consumers the scope to unleash more than a year’s worth of pent-up demand. Global Equity Funds posted retail inflows for the 24th time in the past 26 weeks and Technology Sector Funds – which also set a new inflow mark -- for the 40th time since the beginning of 2Q20 while China Equity Funds absorbed fresh retail money for the 33rd consecutive week. There was less interest during the latest week in hedging against the inflation this anticipated surge in demand could bring, with flows to Inflation Protected and Bank Loan Funds moderating, and more interest in picking up yield by way of exposure to junk bonds, emerging markets and municipal debt and total return strategies. Overall, the week ending February 3 saw EPFR-tracked Bond Funds post their biggest collective inflow since early October while Alternative Funds took in $866 million, Balanced Funds $916 million and Equity Funds $9 billion. Outflows from Money Market Funds hit a year-to-date high of over $30 billion, with Europe Money Market Funds experiencing their heaviest redemptions since late 1Q20.

    Topic Industry News

  • EPFR - fund flow & allocations data

    Retail investors claim center stage in late January

    Global Navigator

    Although the overall pattern of fund flows during the fourth week of the New Year suggested investors are still positioning themselves for a rebound in the global economy and looking for hedges if that rebound comes with an inflationary sting in the tail, it was the activities of retail investors that dominated the financial headlines. Retail investors have now committed fresh money to EPFR-tracked Equity Funds for 12 straight weeks, and their utilization of platforms such as Reddit and Robinhood is sounding alarm bells among regulators, institutional investors and hedge fund managers. The trend has been visible in EPFR flow data since the second quarter of last year, but it accelerated during the fourth quarter. These retail investors have, however, have been largely focused on building exposure to the global reflation story and China’s head start in the rebound stakes. Global Equity Funds have recorded retail inflows 23 of the past 25 weeks while China Equity Funds’ retail inflow streak currently stands at 32 weeks and $10.5 billion.

    Topic Industry News

  • EPFR - fund flow & allocations data

    SRI/ESG: recent trends for Emerging Markets Funds

    EPFR ESG Tech Paper

    In 2018 it was rising US interest rates. In 2019 it was Sino-US trade tensions. Last year it was the COVID-19 pandemic. But the result has been the same for many of the fund groups tracked by EPFR: consistent outflows. Since 1Q18 net redemptions from all Equity Funds and Balanced Funds represent 2.8% and 9.8% of their AUM respectively. But, for funds in both those groups with socially responsible (SRI) or environmental, social and governance (ESG) mandates, it has been a very different story.

    Topic Industry News ESG