Baillie Gifford's dedicated push into the retail market is starting to bear real fruit, according to a leading fund sales report.
Overall, the Pridham Report showed that declining investor confidence due to the threat of trade wars and uncertainty over Brexit is not being reflected in asset management retail sales.
Although significantly down on last year’s record inflows, fund sales remained positive in the second quarter, according to the study.
Baillie Gifford continued its strong run, this time topping the charts (see table below) with an £855 million inflow over the three months having given Old Mutual Global Investors a run for its money in the previous quarter.
Its top-selling Baillie Gifford American fund, run by AAA rated managers Gary Robinson, Tom Slater and Helen Xiong, was credited for the gains. The firm also saw respectable flows into its Japanese funds.
The report attributes the rise to Baillie Gifford beginning to promote its open-ended funds to the retail market around five years ago.
In number two spot Royal London Asset Management has a similar story, upped its retail sales efforts in recent years, although it was some way behind Baillie Gifford with a £561.6 million inflow.
Although known for its fixed interest fund, Royal London’s sales of its money market and mixed asset funds have gained traction.
Elsewhere BMO has seen strong progress over the past two years, recording its highest ever retail sales in the second quarter, with F&C Global Equity Market Neutral and F&C European Growth and Income funds proving particularly popular. Overall the group attracted £381.9 million.
Meanwhile BlackRock once again topped the gross-sellers table (see below), attracting £6.9 billion over the quarter as demand for its passive products remained strong. However, redemptions meant in net terms it was only ranked in fourth spot with a £468.2 million inflow.
‘Although most attention tends to focus on groups’ net sales, it is important to bear in mind that larger groups would not be able to achieve such high gross sales if their funds were not popular,’ said Helen Pridham, editor of The Pridham Report.
‘Managers that are attracting high net sales now will also face growing redemptions in years to come.’
Old Mutual Global Investors was a notable absentee this quarter. This was due to the managed separation of Quilter Investors, meaning it was not included in the tables for the quarter.
Fidelity, Schroders, Invesco Perpetual and Jupiter remained the most popular among active managers.