Baillie Gifford gives Blackrock and passive giants a run for their money in 2020 sales chart

Scottish manager raked in a record £5.2bn of net sales last year, latest Pridham report finds

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Baillie Gifford was the most successful active fund manager last year in terms of sales, according to the latest Pridham Report.

The report revealed Blackrock was the top selling manager throughout the year with net sales of £6.3bn, but it was run close by Baillie Gifford in second place with £5.2bn.

It noted Blackrock’s annual sales, along with Fidelity’s and Legal & General Investment Management’s, were underpinned by flows into passive funds, whereas Baillie Gifford is an active house.

Blackrock’s gross sales were £29.9bn while Fidelity’s were £13.9bn and LGIM’s were £12.6bn. It is the third year running these three asset managers attracted the most new business into their UK domiciled open-ended investment funds.

Baillie Gifford’s gross sales were £12.2bn, putting it in fourth position. But its gross and net sales of funds both increased by more than 100% in 2020 and it topped the Q4 net sales table, notching up £5.2bn.

Report editor Helen Pridham said: “The exceptional performance of Baillie Gifford’s funds last year helped it to attract increased business across the piste from discretionary managers, advisers and direct investors.”

Active manager Allianz Global Investors ranked fifth in the net sales list with £2.6bn, an improvement from last year when it ranked 14th for gross sales.

Fundsmith enters gross sales rankings for the first time

Liontrust (£2.4bn) and Fundsmith (£1.9bn) were new entrants in the gross sales list, with the former buoyed by the popularity of ESG funds during the year. Royal London Asset Management also rode the ESG wave which helped it chart £2.6bn of overall gross sales, putting it fifth in the list.

Rathbones also benefitted from the ESG trend after making the top 10 for net sales with £570m. The Pridham Report noted its Ethical Bond fund had helped with sales during the year.

Pridham said the year ahead was more difficult to predict than most. “Advisers and investors are likely to remain sensitive to ongoing market volatility as a result of the pandemic,” she said.

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