The Brexit brouhaha, geopolitical concerns and the Woodford fallout all conspired to make 2019 a tough year for fund groups. Thankfully it ended on a high with sales surging in December after the government’s election victory and the end of political uncertainty. As a result, gross fund sales via platforms in the last quarter rose to £34bn and net sales £9bn, bringing yearly totals to £112bn and £36bn respectively.
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In a year overshadowed by political uncertainty, it is no surprise that investors sat on the side-lines waiting for the storm clouds to clear. But after three quarters of sluggish activity, sentiment improved and net sales rose to £10.5bn in the fourth quarter, the highest since Q415. However, it was not enough to correct the balance — annual net sales of £38bn were down 16% on the £45bn in 2015 and few platforms were able to improve on their 2015 figures.