Intermediaries accounted for more than 80% of gross retail business in the investment sector, as total funds under management rose to £411bn in January, while net ISA sales fell by more than 70%.
The latest figures from the Investment Management Association (IMA) reveal total investment funds under management rose slightly in January from just over £410bn in December, while the data shows a 15% rise in funds under management compared to 12 months ago.
However, the figures highlight a marginal fall in Isa funds under management, which slipped to £51bn, although the IMA points out this is still 11% higher than the same time last year.
Despite the government’s decision in December to make the Isa regime permanent, IMA figures show net Isa sales have fallen 71% between December and January to £31m, which is 62% lower than January 2006.
The IMA says total net sales were £732m in January overall, with bonds accounting for inflows of £345m, while within the £893m net retail sales, £576m was invested in equities, of which £392m was placed in property funds, and £116m ended up in balanced funds.
The IMA figures also reveal intermediaries were the most popular distribution channel in January, as they accounted for 83% of gross retail business, while fund supermarkets were the biggest distributor of Isas with gross sales of £234m, closely followed by sales force or tied agents who completed £169m of sales.
In addition, the IMA says the UK All-Companies sector was favoured by most advisers, resulting in 17% of the gross retail business in this channel, although overall it says the specialist sector remained the most popular net retail sector for the thirteenth consecutive month with inflows of £351m.
Richard Saunders, chief executive of the IMA, says: "2007 opened with a relatively quiet month by recent standards, but net inflows from retail investors were still very healthy at just under £900m. Once again Isa distribution continued to be dominated by fund supermarkets and it will be interesting to see how this develops during the 2007 Isa season."
If you have any comments you would like to add to this story or would like to speak to its author about a similar subject, telephone Nyree Stewart on 020 7034 2681 or email [email protected]IFAonline
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