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Low rates and soaring markets push fund sales to £8bn in 2013

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Sales of equity funds are on track to reach their highest level since 2000, with net sales of £8bn in the first nine months of 2013.

According to the latest Pridham Report, strong demand for returns above the paltry rates available on cash has pushed up sales to highs not seen since 2000.

Standard Life Investments is once again top of the table with £819m in sales in the third quarter, while Schroders and Artemis were in second and third place with £622m and £498m respectively.

Schroders benefited from the acquisition of Cazenove, with Julie Dean’s Cazenove UK Opportunities fund being the group’s best-selling fund and accounting for 20% of gross sales.

For Artemis, Adrian Frost and Adrian Gosden’s Artemis Income was its top fund but both Artemis Global Income and Artemis Strategic Assets also saw growing sales, the report said.

In fourth place was Henderson which the report said had “settled down” after earlier acquisitions of New Star and Gartmore. Particularly favourable were the firm’s European equity funds and UK property fund.

Barings made its first appearance in the top 10 with sales of £241m thanks to increasing appetite for European funds and the firm’s Mixed Asset fund.

Helen Pridham, editor of the report, said: “Changing investment tastes are creating more opportunities for fund managers while soft closures are helping to spread business around more groups. This trend looks likely to continue in the fourth quarter.”

M&G continued to dominate gross retail sales, topping the charts with £2.5bn in the third quarter, but it only came ninth – with £245m – when it came to net sales.

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