Statistics reveal mixed fortunes of fund sales

While gross first-quarter fund of funds sales were up by 6% compared with the final quarter of 2005, net sales fell by 17% to 921m, according to statistics from the Investment Management Association.

The period also appears to have seen a reversal in the trend towards fettered products.

Gross fettered sales of 730m represented 40% of total sales, compared with more than 50% in the fourth quarter. Net fettered sales were 402m, representing 44%, a fall of 4%.

Balanced funds were the most popular and accounted for 1,038m, or 57%, of gross sales in the first quarter.

Of this, the Cautious Managed sector took 39%, followed by Balanced Managed on 38%, Active Managed on 22% and UK Equity & Bond Income on 1%.

Compared with the last year, first-quarter fund of funds sales increased sharply. Total gross sales were up by 67%, to 1,826m, while net sales grew by almost two and a half times, to 921m.

Assets under management were 25.9bn at the end of March, compared with 15.4bn in 2005.

In contrast, tracker funds saw net retail outflows of nearly 175m in the first quarter, compared with inflows of 10m in 2005.

But gross sales were 20% higher than last year, at 405m. Total funds under management were up by 46%, to 23.7bn.

Gross retail sales of ethical funds were up by 50% compared with 2005. Net sales grew by almost five times, to 35m. Total funds under management were up by 30%, to 4.4bn.