Asset managers report elevated gross retail sales in first quarter

Passive funds were the most popular purchase, accounting for 74% of sales over the period


Asset management firms started the year with heightened gross retail sales of their UK domiciled funds, according to the latest Pridham Report.

BlackRock reported the biggest gross sale of £10.1bn during the first quarter – its highest quarterly inflow since the beginning of 2020.

However, after taking redemptions into account, net retail sales of asset managers were negative in the first quarter. With these reductions, BlackRock still raked in £3.9bn in net sales.

It was followed by HSBC, Legal and General, and Royal London, which had net sales of £1.7bn, £1.1bn and £343m respectively.

Despite asset managers reporting an overall net loss over the quarter, the report said that their elevated gross sales were reason to be optimistic.

It said: “With equity markets currently buoyant and fixed income offering investors both yield and appreciation potential, there are reasons to believe that, after consecutive bruising years, the sun may shine for UK fund managers in 2024.”

The Pridham Report noted that most sales made in the first quarter were for passive products, with purchases of tracker funds accounting for 74% of all sales from the top four firms over the period.

Benjamin Reed-Hurwitz, editor of the report and associate director of EMEA research at ISS MI, said asset managers could expect continued high gross sales throughout the year.

“As retail investors and their advisers adjust their portfolio allocations to reflect the outlook of higher for longer interest rates, opportunities will be created for fund groups to win new business,” he said.