Scottish Widows Investment Partnership (SWIP) reported strong growth for the first half of the year with profits up 24% to £21m and an increase in external gross new business of 58% to £1.4bn. Total funds under management for the asset manager now stand at £98bn.
SWIP says profits have been boosted by continuing success in both the UK retail and institutional markets. This includes the launch of several innovative new funds over the past 14 months, and the successful expansion of its international business, with inflows coming from across Europe, the US and Japan.
Strong fund performance has driven SWIP’s third party retail sales in the first half of the year with the group announcing gross new business has more than doubled with an increase of 116%. A lowering of the minimum investment on SWIP’s OEIC range 18 months ago and the establishment of a dedicated retail sales team contributed to the figures.
SWIP’s top selling retail funds for the first half of 2007 include the SWIP Property trust, SWIP Corporate Bond Plus fund and the SWIP European Real Estate fund.
The group's success in providing fund management products to other divisions within the Lloyds TSB Group has also expanded, with SWIP now managing in excess of £6bn on behalf of Lloyds TSB Private Bank, up 61% from June 2006.
Simon Wombwell, head of distribution, at SWIP comments: “Our international, UK institutional and retail success is testament to the fact that 91% of the funds we are actively selling to the institutional and retail markets are showing above median performance over three years. With a portfolio of good performing funds and strong fund management teams, we are continuing to attract not only excellent levels of new business, but some of the best fund management talent in the industry.
“Our fund distribution continues to increase, not just in the UK, but across the globe and I am pleased that, as a result of this, we are able to announce a healthy level of profit for the Group over the half year.”
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An added tier of asset management can of course deliver additional benefits for certain investors, writes Graham Bentley - just be sure you can justify it to the regulator and, especially, the client