But the report also warned that the asset management industry could face a subdued fourth quarter while the fallout of the RDR could hamper sales well into 2013.
The Pridham Report revealed that Threadneedle achieved £643.5m in net retail sales over the third quarter, followed by Standard Life Investments (£568.1m), BNY Mellon (£416m), M&G (£411.5m) and Kames (£381.8m).
“Threadneedle leapfrogged into the leading position in the net retail stakes with its best ever quarterly sales thanks to a resurgence of interest in its European funds as investors decided to end their boycott of continental markets,” the report said.
“A fund of funds purchase by fellow fund manager Jupiter gave Threadneedle a significant boost, but it is also selling well in other areas, such as UK equity income and its Emerging Markets Bond fund also attracted good business.”
The top ten of highest net retail sales is completed by Axa Investment Managers (£345.1m), Jupiter (£329.6m), BlackRock (£324.1m), Cazenove (£269.5m) and HSBC (£99.8m).
In terms of gross retail sales, M&G topped the list with £2.32bn. The firm was followed by BlackRock (£1.66bn), Invesco Perpetual (£1.39bn), BNY Mellon (£1.20bn) and Threadneedle (£1.20bn).
However, the report said conditions are likely to be more difficult in the fourth quarter of the year – unless stock markets continue to show significant rallies and make funds more attractive.
Flows into funds improved during September as stock markets rose, but asset managers reported that advisors became “increasingly distracted” as the RDR deadline draws closer.