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Multi-asset fund sales lead the way in Q1

Sales into multi-asset funds accounted for nearly a third (32 per cent) of all net sales during Q1, according to figures from the Skandia Investment Solutions platform.

Multi-asset funds continue to be popular as advisers seek quality investment solutions for their clients, such as risk targeted funds.
UK equities also peaked during Q1, rising to nearly half of all net sales (47 per cent) in January, but dipping back to 18 per cent in March. This roughly correlates with the performance of the FTSE over the period that saw a slight dip in March from a high at the end of February. Over the quarter, UK equities are the second highest asset class, accounting for 29 per cent of total Q1 net sales.
Property funds have also continued to perform well over the quarter, in reaction to the continuing rise in value of the commercial property market. The FE UK property proxy index reached its highest value since 2007 at the end of March. Property funds accounted for 13 per cent of net sales over the period.
In contrast, net sales into UK fixed interest plummeted in January with net redemptions of 13 per cent. Net sales did recover slightly in February and March; however this is likely to be a result of the popularity of sterling strategic bonds, which in contrast to other fixed interest stock performed relatively well over the period. Net sales of UK fixed interest over the quarter were flat at zero per cent.
The top selling fund manager over the quarter was Old Mutual Global Investors (OMGI), accounting for a third of net sales. Schroders was the second bestselling manager, followed by Artemis.
In the multi-asset sector, the top three funds are:
1.     Old Mutual Spectrum 6
2.     Schroder MM Diversity Invesco
3.     Perpetual Distribution
In the UK equity sector, the top three funds are:
1.    Investec UK Smaller Companies
2.    Schroder Recovery
3.    Old Mutual UK Alpha
In the UK fixed interest sector, the top three funds are:
1.     Old Mutual Corporate Bond 
2.     Artemis High Income
3.     Jupiter Strategic Bond
Dean Bowden, head of investment solutions at Skandia, says: “The ongoing popularity of multi-asset funds is unsurprising as investors continue to recognise the value of a diversified approach to investment, and the need for dedicated professional management of their portfolios. This is also reflected in the continued popularity of outsourced managed portfolio solutions, many of which are managed via the platform and have been responsible for the significant increases in allocations to UK equity funds and property funds during 2014 as confidence in the UK market and economy continues to grow. Both the ‘multi-asset fund’ and ‘managed portfolio’ approaches give advisers the comfort that their clients’ assets are being managed in the most optimal way to help them achieve their longer term goals, with the added benefit of reducing the administrative burden for advisers and instead allowing them to focus on spending time with clients.”

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