The poor returns from currency investment this year may have damaged the appeal of the asset class to institutions such as pension funds, according to conference speakers. Pension funds have been increasingly willing to allocate assets to active currency management, said bankers, but those funds which chose this year to invest in currencies may not have seen positive returns. Brian Strange, portfolio manager in the currency management group at JPMorgan Fleming Asset Management in London, said, "The people who have been hurt are the people we persuaded about a year ago." He added, "If it continues like the last six months, we're in trouble."
Dave Bamber, assistant county treasurer with responsibility for Clwyd Pension Fund, proved bankers' fears wrong, however. His fund allocated 4% of its assets to two different currency funds in April and in spite of flat returns for the first two months he reported positive returns over the last three months.