S&P Dow Jones Indices has been the de facto scorekeeper of the ongoing active versus passive debate since the first publication of the S&P Indices Versus Active Funds (SPIVA) U.S. Scorecard in 2002. The SPIVA Europe Scorecard measures the performance of actively managed European equity funds denominated in euro (EUR), British pound sterling (GBP), and other European local currencies against the performance of their respective S&P DJI benchmark indices over 1-, 3-, 5-, and 10-year investment horizons.
YEAR-END 2021 HIGHLIGHTS
In spite of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic throughout 2021, European equity markets were buoyant, recovering well from the extreme volatility of the previous year. The S&P Europe 350® was up 26.1% in 2021.
- Of active euro-denominated Europe Equity funds, 74.8% underperformed the S&P Europe 350 in 2021. On a risk-adjusted basis the same group of funds generally fared no better, with 79.7% and 84.3% underperforming over the 1- and 10-year period respectively.
- European regional benchmarks saw double-digit returns across the board, with many returning over 20% for the one-year period. The picture was similar for fund managers, with all categories seeing returns in excess of 10% for the year.
- Despite the strong returns, fewer European fund managers beat the benchmark than in the prior year, as evidenced by Report 1c. In each category, there was an increase in the percentage of funds outperformed by their benchmark.
- Europe Equity funds saw a 37.4% absolute increase in the percentage of funds outperformed by their benchmark from 2020 to 2021, and the volatility of the benchmark was 27.9% in 2020 and 12.3% in 2021. From this we can surmise that, on average, fund managers in this region may have utilized their skills better during more volatile market conditions than in a comparatively stable environment. However, as SPIVA frequently witnesses, any short-term success typically dissipates as the time horizon increases. For instance, 83.2% of Europe Equity funds underperformed the S&P Europe 350 over the 10-year period.