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Neil Woodford tops best selling funds table

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Star fund manager Neil Woodford's self-titled firm has topped the best selling funds table for quarter three. 

Woodford Investment Management saw a 25% increase in net retail sales compared to the previous quarter, according to the Pridham Report which monitors fund managers’ quarterly sales.

The group’s single open-ended fund, the Woodford Equity Income fund, broke through £7bn, and now tops the equity income sector in size terms.

BlackRock continued to occupy top spot for gross retail sales, with its business underpinned by sales of passive funds.

Standard Life Investments took second position in both the gross and net sales table.  Standard Life Global Absolute Return Strategies fund remains the group’s top seller but flows into its equity funds, such as the UK Equity Income Unconstrained, also rose during the quarter.

The largest increases in net retail flows in the quarter were seen at Legal & General Investment Management and Artemis. Legal & General has cut fees for its passive funds and expanded its sales team in the past year, and a resulting increase in sales combined with reduced redemptions helped boost its net business by over 100 per cent in the quarter.

Artemis’ net sales also jumped by over 100%.  Sales of its equity funds generally increased including those of its star attraction, Artemis Global Income run by Jacob de Tusch-Lec.  Other popular funds during the quarter were Artemis Income, Artemis Special Situations and the Artemis European funds.

Overall, strong retail sales of investment funds in July laid the foundations for a good third quarter for the UK fund industry, the report said.

While gross sales were lower in August and September as a result of stock market volatility, redemptions were down.

As a result, net sales in the quarter were the best for the year so far. Flows into funds via personal pensions were particularly robust as investors moved from traditional pensions into SIPPs for the purposes of income drawdown.

“It is noticeable that three of the top four groups for net retail sales in the quarter were the fund management arms of insurance companies with their own platforms,” said Helen Pridham, editor of the Pridham Report.

“Although many investors will remain cautious following this summer’s market volatility, pension investors are likely to be more focused on the long term.”

Gross-net retail sales.2.11.15

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