Summit Notebook

Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders

from Global Investing:

Reuters Funds Summit: A financial Chernobyl

The mood in the asset management industry is "very cautious, very realistic but not pessimistic" after the financial industry's "Chernobyl" of Lehman Brothers collapse, according to Europe's fund industry chief.

Peter De Proft, director general of the European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA) told the Reuters Funds Summit, that the mood was now more optimistic.  At least, certainly more so than  4-5 months ago.

Lehman Brothers, though, was Chernobyl. "Boom, it was the atomic bomb," De Proft said, adding that many in the financial industry, including asset managers, appeared "shell-shocked" at the time.

Now he sees more optimism and backs it up with preliminary EFAMA data showing net inflows into investment funds  in January, reversing the trend of outflows seen in the last quarter of 2008. Not huge, but positive, he says. February, meanwhile, was "presumably positive or break-even."