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Pridham Report: Fund sales show signs of recovery


Fund sales in the first three months of 2023 improved compared to the previous two quarters, the latest Pridham Report found.

Despite high inflation, continuous interest rate hikes and fears of a banking crisis, gross sales for Q1 2023 were up as investors modified their asset allocations to take advantage of the current economic backdrop.

Overall levels of new business were not as high as previous years, but the report found some fund groups fared better than others.

In fact, seven of the top ten managers increased their gross sales in the three-month period compared with Q1 2022.

Passive players continued to dominate the field, the Pridham Report said, with BlackRock retaining its top spot for gross sales, while HSBC moved into "pole position" for net sales.

The bulk of HSBC's flows were into equity index trackers, yet it has seen growing traction in its actively managed multi-asset range, with its HSBC Global Strategy Balanced Portfolio again proving to be one of the more popular offerings.

When actively managed funds were taken into consideration, the report found Royal London Asset Management was the group with the highest gross sales, with its short dated fixed income offering reporting significant investor demand. Additionally, the Royal London UK Equity Income fund also posted strong inflows and was among the best sellers during the quarter, despite investors having shunned UK equities for some time.

M&G moved up the tables to sixth place for gross new business and fourth for net sales thanks to strong investment performance.

The bulk of M&G's new business comprised of flows into its bond funds, but equity funds also fared quite positively, with the M&G Japan fund having "consistently delivered top performance" since managers Carl Vine and Dave Perret took over in 2019, the report added.

BNY Mellon became a new entry to the gross sales tables due to strong flows into its equity income range and multi-asset funds. The BNY Mellon Global Income fund and BNY Mellon Multi Asset Balanced fund were among the company's top sellers.

On the retail sales front, AllianceBernstein achieved a record high ranking, elevating the company to eighth place for net sales.

Man GLG managed to re-enter the top ten for net sales as well, with most of its inflows going to equity funds.