Cautious Managed was again the top sector on Cofunds during Q3 as multi-manager funds continue to hold sway prior to RDR.
The Cautious Managed sector accounted for 30% of net sales during the period, marking the fourth consecutive quarter it has held top spot, although sales were slightly down from its Q2 peak of 32%.
"I do not see Cautious Managed dropping off top-spot with RDR approaching as it provides an effective outsourcing solution," says Michelle Woodburn, manager, fund group relations (pictured).
Henderson Multi-Manager Income & Growth, Thames River Distribution and Aviva Cautious Fund of Funds helped propel the sector to pole position.
Although Woodburn doubts Cautious Managed will breach the 40% net sales mark, she expects it to continue accounting for around a third of sales.
She adds there is a clear shift towards the multi-manager space, with the Balanced Managed and Active Managed sectors also gaining traction. Around 40-50% of Cofunds sales are going into multi-asset vehicles, according to Woodburn.
In second spot for the second consecutive quarter was Strategic Bond, accounting for 10% of net sales, with L&G Dynamic Bond and Henderson Strategic Bond propping up the sector.
The quarter also saw Corporate Bond and Absolute Return re-enter the top-five fray. Corporate Bond, last in the top-five back in Q4 2009, staged a comeback to grab third spot.
Meanwhile, Absolute Return made it into the top-five selling sectors for the first time, with 7% of net sales driving it into fourth position. Woodburn says the sector's ability to perform in volatile markets helped push it up the ranks.
The sector's stand-out fund was Standard Life's Global Absolute Return Strategy, which was the highest selling fund on the platform.
Global Growth, which grabbed 9% of sales last quarter, managed to muster only around 5% of sales and dropped out of the top five.
Global Emerging Market (GEM) was also off the pace, with just 4% of sales. Woodburn said it was "remarkable" the sector did not perform better considering the high growth rates of emerging economies.
She adds GEM funds could have been adversley impacted by negative press surrounding India and China but expects the sector to pick up as markets recover.
M&G and Invesco Perpetual remain the dominant fund managers, whilst Henderson and Standard Life Investments improved their gross market share over the quarter.
Highlighting the concentration of sales in the top tier, just ten fund managers accounted for 58% of gross new business during the period.
Despite the current trend for index funds and passives, only a couple of these funds made it into Cofunds' top 50, reflecting the platform's heavy bias towards actively-managed funds.
Woodburn says one or two new funds will launch before the end of the year.
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