Passive investors have driven BlackRock to the top of the fund sales tables for the fourth consecutive quarter, according to the latest Pridham Report.
The analysis, which monitors fund management groups’ inflows, showed during the first three months of 2015 the US giant enjoyed net retail sales of more than £1bn.
The study pointed out BlackRock was benefiting from increasing sales of its passive funds, which account for the majority of its new business nowadays, although sales of its actively managed portfolios also rose in the first quarter.
Woodford Investment Management came in second place, with an estimated inflow of £800m, although its total marks the first time since its June 2014 launch that its quarterly net sales have dropped below the £1bn mark.
Kames Capital also witnessed strong inflows during the first quarter, at £390.1m, primarily as a result of strong support for its bond funds.
Helen Pridham, editor of the Pridham Report, said: “Although net business flows into fixed income funds generally are modest, there appears to be a considerable amount of switching going on as investors seek out the best returns they can find in this asset class.”
And Hargreaves Lansdown was propelled into fifth place for sales by the launch of two new funds, HL Multi-Manager UK Growth and HL Multi-Manager European, which raised more than £250m in their offer periods.
Overall the first three months of 2015 represented a muted period for fund sales as growing uncertainty over the outcome of the upcoming General Election scared investors away from markets.
According to trade body The Investment Association, net retail fund sales fell to their lowest level in a first quarter since 2008. In March, just £1.1bn was invested, marking a massive fall on the £2.5bn taken in during the same period in 2014.