Despite the slowdown, 178 funds were launched in 2001, only slightly down on the 184 in 2000
Unfavourable market conditions barely slowed the pace of fund launches in 2001, with 178 new funds coming on the market, only slightly down from 184 in 2000, according to figures from the 2002 UK Fund Industry Review.
The 10 largest funds in the unit trust and Oeic industry are dominated by institutional funds, with Merrill Lynch UK Equity taking over as the UK's largest fund at the end of 2001, up from second place in 2000, with £8.88bn under management.
The fund displaced Standard Life International, which slipped to number two with £5.99bn in assets. Invesco Perpetual High Income fund remained in third place, while Threadneedle's UK Institutional Growth fund rose to the number four position, up from six at the end of 2000.
The retail Scottish Widows UK Growth (ex-LTSB) fund slipped back one place to number five.
The review said figures for gross sales showed the fickleness of investors during 2001, with only the Threadneedle American Growth and European Growth funds making it into the top 10 in both 2000 and 2001.
In gross sales terms, the top performer during 2001 was the Framlington European fund, according to the review, which took £673.77m over that period, ahead of the Threadneedle American Growth fund, which took £622.95m.
Threadneedle had three of the top 10 selling funds in 2001, with its American Growth, European Select Growth and American Select Growth funds, while Schroder had two with Institutional American and Institutional Pacific.
Gartmore was unable to repeat its sales performance of 2000, when it had three of the top 10 selling funds. Its best sales performance for 2001 was with Gartmore Selected European Opportunities, which came in at number 14.
Scottish Widows again had the fund with the largest number of unitholder accounts. Its UK Growth (ex-Lloyds TSB) fund had 440,147 accounts at the end of 2001.
The rest of the top five also held their positions, with the 405,482-account CIS UK Growth fund at number two, the 315,079-account Abbey National UK Growth fund at three, the 286,207-account Halifax Accumulation fund at four and the 276,773-account Invesco Perpetual European Growth fund at five.
Aberdeen had the largest total assets under management in the investment trust universe at the turn of the year, with £7.183bn. However, since then, a great deal of value has been lost through its range of split-capital trusts.
3i, Hendersons, F&C, Edinburgh and Invesco were the other largest investment trust players. However, Edinburgh's loss of the Edinburgh Investment Trust to Fidelity means its position in the top six trust managers has since been lost.
3i Group was again the single largest trust, with £6.414bn in assets under management, down from £7.629bn a year earlier. F&C, Alliance, Witan, Scottish Mortgage and Edinburgh were next largest.
Gearing among investment trusts increased during 2001. Two of the five most highly leveraged were Aberdeen Income & Growth and Leveraged Income, both of which have since suspended their shares.
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