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The top 10 most read stories of 2017 so far

Citywire Selector runs down the news and features that have caught our readers’ attention so far this year.

10. HSBC PB strikes strategic deal with 25 fund firms

Back in May, HSBC's Private Banking arm announced a strategic partnership programme with 25 fund management and ETF companies. It came as part of an effort to extend the bank's range of funds and to improve contact with high net-worth and ultra-high net-worth investors.

The 25 unnamed firms were reportedly selected with the intention of creating a diverse portfolio of asset classes, geographies and investing styles. Jean-Christophe Gerard, global head of investment products at HSBC Private Banking, said: 'Selecting our strategic partners was just the start, not the end of the process.'

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9. Standard Aberdeen: the inside story from Martin Gilbert

VIDEO: In April, Standard Life Aberdeen's chief executive Martin Gilbert sat down with Citywire's Lawrence Lever to discuss the mega-merger and his ambition to expand further in the US.

Gilbert described the challenges he had faced in bringing together Aberdeen and Standard Life, and spoke about his plans for Standard Life's pension and distribution efforts.

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8. Trio of French boutiques agree merger plans

Last month, Citywire brought you the news that three Paris-based asset management boutiques were set to merge.

Amaïka, Cedrus and 360Hixance announced the planned merger as part of an effort to pool their collective presence in the investment industry. The resultant firm, SANSO Investment Solutions, was estimated to have assets under management of €650 million.

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7. $1.4trn AM giant responds to Buffett’s active fees criticism

Back in February, the Los Angeles-based asset management firm Capital Group hit back at comments made by Warren Buffett in his annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders.

In his letter, Buffett was widely interpreted as having championed passive strategies, claiming that $100 billion had been 'wasted' on active managers over the past decade. Capital Group responded that Buffett had 'miss[ed] a vital point' about active strategies by overlooking the potential for manager outperformance.

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6. BlackRock to scrap multi-strategy absolute return fund

After a disappointing few years, BlackRock closed its multi-strategy absolute return fund in February this year.

The highly diversified fund, which invested across equities, bonds, derivatives and other funds, had been launched as a Luxembourg-domiciled approach in June 2014. However, the fund had only €47 million in assets under management at the end of January this year, prompting BlackRock to close it down.

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5. Pictet soft-closes Robotics fund after hitting €3bn

In March, Citywire Selector brought you the news that Pictet Asset Management was soft-closing its dedicated robotics fund.

The specialist equity strategy swelled to nearly €3 billion in assets in less than two years, having been launched in the summer of 2015 to capitalise on advances in IT, cloud computing, new microprocessors and artificial intelligence. Pictet described the move as an attempt to 'to protect the interests of existing shareholders.'

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4. Six selectors name their top absolute return fund picks

In March, we spoke to six fund selectors from around the world and asked them which managers they're backing and where to look for absolute returns.

Tim Peeters, Ludwig Caluwé, Will Shum, Omar Angelino, Thomas Zuettel and Hervé Croset all shared their top picks, and let us in on what they look for in absolute return funds.

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3. Revealed: fund managers with the biggest inflows in Q1

VIDEO: In this edition of Manager Focus, Citywire’s head of cross-border investment research ran through the three managers attracting the most net new money over the first three months of 2017.

With bond stars dominating the proceedings, Dr Nisha Long took a closer look at why these fixed income managers found favour among fund buyers over the first quarter of the year.

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2. BlackRock cuts PMs and fees in active equity overhaul

Coming in as our second most read story in the first half of 2017, the news of a major shake-up at BlackRock certainly caught your attention.

The world's largest asset manager announced that it was planning to remove a number of portfolio managers from funds worth a total of $30 billion. It came as part of an attempt to move away from active equity management towards a more quantitative approach. Although it would not be parting company with all of the managers in question, BlackRock said it was preparing to pay out $25 million in severance and bonus packages.

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1. The funds attracting the most money in 2016 revealed

VIDEO: Perhaps it should come as no surprise, after what had been an incredibly volatile 2016, that so many of you again turned to Dr Nisha Long's expertise on the hottest funds.

In this run down of the three funds that accrued the greatest level of net inflows over the course of 2016, we discover where investors turned in tough and uncertain times.

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