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Plackett and Hibbert help BlackRock knock M&G from top of Pridham chart

Plackett and Hibbert help BlackRock knock M&G from top of Pridham chart

BlackRock and Standard Life Investments (SLI) defied the slow first quarter to enjoy strong flows into some of their most popular funds.

According to the closely followed Pridham Report, retail sales of funds during the first three months of the year amounted to £2.7 billion, their lowest level for five years, despite rising equity markets and continued low rates.

However BlackRock enjoyed one of its best quarters, the report found, which measured groups' might by looking at gross retail sales.

BlackRock's strong quarter meant M&G Investments was knocked from its long-held position at the top of Pridham's fund sales chart.

BlackRock's big hitting funds - UK Special Situations, managed by Richard Plackett (pictured), and European Dynamic, run by Alister Hibbert - were among the vehicles most popular with investors.

At SLI, its Global Absolute Return Strategy (Gars) was a big draw.  Gars accounted for just over half of SLI's net retail sales, the report said.

Moreover, in the wake of Richard Buxton and Errol Francis' departure from Schroders, Cazenove Capital's UK Opportunities - seen by some as a key switch for investors not wishing to follow Buxton and Francis to Old Mutual Global Investors - looked to have added to its fan base.   The fund is managed by Julie Dean, who will join Schroders via its imminent takeover of Cazenove Capital.

Overall, BlackRock topped the gross retail sales table by pulling in more than £2.3 billion in sales over the first quarter.  M&G was second in the list with £2.1 billion in gross sales, while SLI attracted £1.6 billion.

In terms of net retail sales, Cazenove came third in the list of top 10 managers with £498 million and SLI gained the top slot with £917 million in net retail sales.

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Richard Plackett
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