It was an acronym that spawned a host of summits, a development bank and a $100 billion bailout fund. But Goldman Sachs, once the most energetic sponsor of the "Bric" investment theme, has quietly stepped away from it, merging its dedicated in-house fund into an all-purpose emerging markets vehicle.
The closure of the Bric fund — announced in a filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission in September and spotted by Bloomberg on Sunday — came after poor performance and consistent lagging of benchmarks. Assets under management had dwindled to about $100 million, from a peak of more than $800 million at the end of 2010.
By shutting the fund, the Wall Street bank has signalled an end of an era in which the four developing economies — Brazil, Russia, India and China — appeared to be shaping a new world order. The acronym had been coined in 2001 by Lord O'Neill, the UK Treasury minister and former chief economist at Goldman, who noted that real GDP growth among the quartet had surpassed that of the G7 group of mature economies. Goldman's Bric fund was born five years later, investing at least 80 per cent of its net assets in Bric equities.