Threadneedle tops fund table

Threadneedle Investments was the biggest-selling fund manager by net retail sales during the third quarter of the year, with sales of £643.5m, according to Fundscape’s Pridham Report.

A fall in bond fund sales saw M&G dislodged from the top spot for the first time in more than three years, slipping to fourth place.

The quarterly sales report revealed Threadneedle had been boosted by inflows into its European products and was helped by a fund of funds purchase by rival Jupiter Asset Management

Standard Life Investments was second-placed with sales of £568.1m, lifted by increased interest in its Global Absolute Return Strategies fund.

Asset manager BNY Mellon was third-placed with net retail sales of £416m, while M&G and Kames completed the top five managers by net retail sales, generating £411.5m and £381.8m, respectively.

Director of Fundscape Helen Pridham says poor investment sentiment and uncertainty over the RDR had contributed to a third quarter of mixed fortunes.

The report found that although sales had slowed during the early part of the third quarter, flows had improved towards the end of the quarter, buoyed by rising stockmarkets in September.

The outlook for the fourth quarter may remain difficult in the coming months, says Pridham, unless stockmarkets continue to rise.

She says: “Last-minute preparations for RDR appear to be the main concern of advisers at present and hopes for next year are not great either, with the industry likely to go into limbo until platform regulation comes into effect at the end of 2013.”

M&G Investments topped gross retail sales by some margin during the third quarter of 2012, with sales of more than £2.3bn.

Pridham adds: “M&G was forced to turn away business as some of its bond funds started to reach capacity and the FSA raised concerns about liquidity issues in fixed income funds.

“This had a depressing effect on the group’s net sales, although the company has some other strong product offerings, it reports that advisers are being distracted by the looming RDR deadline.”

BlackRock was the second biggest gross-seller of funds, generating just under £1.7bn in sales, while Invesco Perpetual came in third with about £1.4bn in gross sales.