Fund sales show well-worn aggression pays off

The year 2010 rewarded asset managers who sold aggressive products under staple brands, analysis of the IMA’s assets under management (AUM) data reveals.

Although the IMA has only released AUM data by company from the start of January to the start of October, the largest 30 retail managers scored particular success if they promoted top-rated aggressive equity or emerging market products under a well-known banner.

Fund Strategy conducted the analysis in response to smaller fund boutiques such as River & Mercantile and Gemini, who warned recent record fund sales were skewed towards larger groups.

Smaller providers’ success over the period was mixed, but not much more so than the larger names’.

Overall, retail AUM for all 96 managers rose 20% over the period, from £294 billion to £353 billion. The increase was all the more impressive given that the FTSE 100 went up only 6%.

However, only 13 out of the top 30 groups recorded an above-average rise in retail AUM.

Of the 13, First State, Investec, HSBC, and Neptune all capitalised on their strong emerging market presence. (article continues below)

M&G, Fidelity, St James’s Place, Schroders and BlackRock all benefited from their strong aggressive equity ranges, most prominently in developed world stocks.

Axa and Aviva took advantage of their staple pension brands and core ranges, including aggressive products.

As markets grew more bullish, giant umbrella companies BNY Mellon and Capita herded more products into their British ranges from their vast suite of subsidiaries, in BNY Mellon’s case, and clients, in Capita’s.

Although providers M&G received an additional boost from fixed income, income did not dominate the growth tables in the way one might expect, given the ongoing boom in alternatives to cash.

According to the IMA figures, Invesco Perpetual managed retail AUM growth of just 12%, despite having the most prominent equity income franchise in the industry and one of the best known names in bonds.