Richard Buxton has helped power Old Mutual Global Investors to the top of the fund sales charts at the expense of his former employers Schroders.
According to the latest Pridham report, Old Mutual Global Investors saw the biggest net inflow in the first quarter, taking in £857 million. This was almost double what it took in the final quarter of 2013 when it stood in sixth spot.
The firm also entered the top 10 gross sellers in the first quarter, taking sixth spot with £1.575 billion.
The report attributes this rise largely to Citywire A-rated Buxton (pictured), who left Schroders to launch the Old Mutual UK Alpha fund. However, it also pointed out OMGI’s ‘equity fund sales generally have risen’ and that the newly launched, inflation-targeted Foundation mixed asset range had attracted ‘significant’ support.
The firm beat Standard Life Investments, which came in second on net sales with inflows of £642.5 billion as its Gars strategy remained in vogue.
OMGI’s rise came in tandem with a decline at his former employers Schroders, which fell from top spot in net sales in the fourth quarter to fifth as inflows dropped from £1.15 billion to £482.2 billion.
This fall can be attributed to the firm’s decision to close a number of ex-Cazenove funds on capacity grounds. This includes AA-rated Paul Marriage and John Warren's UK Dynamic Smaller Companies and Absolute UK Dynamic funds, while Schroders has also discouraged inflows into AAA-rated Julie Dean's Schroder UK Opportunities fund.
Schroders also lost top spot in gross sales, this time to M&G which took in £2.537 billion thanks primarily to interest in A-rated Richard Woolnough's Optimal Income fund and + rated Stuart Rhodes' Global Dividend fund, with its Property fund managed by Fiona Rowley also drawing in investors. However, outflows meant the group could not hold a spot in the top 10.
Meanwhile Invesco Perpetual held onto third in gross sales with £2.2 billion, with the report highlighting ‘steady flows into its High Income and Distribution funds ‘indicating that many investors didn’t know or didn’t care about Neil Woodford’s imminent departure'.
However, while Woodford’s former funds continued to attract money, there were a number of discretionary disposals of the quarter, resulting in Invesco Perpetual being out of the top 10 on a net basis for the second successive quarter.
There was also good news for Kames and Barings, which entered the top 10 net sellers with inflows of £431 million and £361.7 million respectively.
Both firms benefited from demand for mixed asset strategies with Kames new Diversified Income fund proving to be a ‘resounding’ success, while Barings saw increased interest in + rated Andrew Cole's multi-asset fund from wealth managers.
'There has been much talk about multi asset solutions and many new launches in recent years,' the reports author Helen Pridham said. 'They now appear to be gaining some ground in the sales tables as RDR beds in.'
Overall net fund sales were down 10% on the previous quarter.
Pridham said that this could be down to increased sophistication which has stopped a last minute rush into ISAs at the end of the tax year.
She believes the ISA season appears to have moved into the second quarter as advisers and investors choose to use up their ISA allowances earlier in the year.