Woodford tops retail net sales for third quarter

Neil Woodford saw his fledgling fund management business top the net retail sales charts for the third quarter, according to the Pridham Report.

The report said advisers and wealth managers became “increasingly cautious” as markets became more volatile and their “enthusiasm for equity investment in particular started to wane”.

But it said some groups “managed to buck the trend”, with Woodford Investment Management continuing to “enjoy strong net flows following its high profile launch at the end of the second quarter”.

Article continues after advert

Mr Woodford’s firm saw net inflows of more than £1.1bn helped by his retail fund, CF Woodford Equity Income, and the mandate he runs for St James’s Place.

Henderson Global Investors was second in the net sales stakes with £795.1m, which Pridham called a “notable success story”. Its gross retail sales were up 12 per cent quarter-on-quarter.

Helen Pridham, editor of the Pridham Report, which monitors quarterly fund flows, said: “There has been an impressive turnaround in Henderson’s fortunes over the past 18 months.

“Partly this has been due to the revival of interest in property funds but it has also been the result of a lot of hard work by the company - rationalising its fund range, playing to its strengths and stepping up its market efforts.”

Elsewhere, BlackRock had “another strong quarter” taking the spot for gross sales. This was in large part thanks to the “increasing popularity of passive funds among discretionary managers”

“The bulk of its sales during the quarter went into its tracker products, such as the BCIF UK Equity Index fund,” Ms Pridham said.

HSBC Global Asset Management was “another beneficiary of this trend towards passives” as its net retail sales rose to their “highest level for five years” with its Amercia Index fund being particularly popular.

Fidelity’s top selling retail fund in the quarter was its Index UK fund, on which the group recently slashed the charges on.

Seven Investment Management made its first entry into the net retail sales chart “helped by good sales of its fund of passives, the 7IM Asset Allocated Passive Balanced fund”.

Other less well-known players also made their mark during the quarter, Ms Pridham said.

“7IM, Premier Asset Management and Fundsmith are attracting increasing attention as investors seek to diversify,” she said.

“Unlike many major players they don’t have large back books of mature business so their net positions are also healthy. The same applies to Woodford of course.”