A lot has happened in the world of platforms this week — most of it in Scotland. First there was the news that Standard Life Aberdeen is selling Parmenion, one of its three platforms. Hot on its heels was the announcement that its Edinburgh neighbour, Nucleus, had received offers for its entire share capital. Last but not least, Novia is reportedly changing hands before Christmas (OK, Novia is technically not Scottish but bear with us).
A new job in the city with more money has meant that I’ve been able to save. Hurrah! I had a general investment account with Fidelity and topped it up with a smallish investment. I was quite happy with the way my investment was ticking along, until I decided to check out the charges on offer.
Gatekeepers. That word strikes fear into many fund managers' hearts and rightly so. These are the people who increasingly influence and direct the volume of sales in the UK, and if a fund group isn't on their radar it's potentially missng out on some sizeable assets. The problem becomes even more acute when the investment outlook is stormy and investors are taking shelter.
Following on from our Q115 platform statistics, this week we're looking at which funds and fund groups were hot on platforms and why. The table below shows the top five fund groups and the top five funds by gross sales for the platform universe* in the first quarter of 2015.
Invesco headed up the table for the second quarter in a row. It has staged a steady recovery since Woodford's departure and has five funds in the top 25 funds. It is renowned for its income expertise, but its IP Global Targeted Returns fund (a rival to Standard Life's popular Global Absolute Returns Strategy) is beginning to turn advisers' heads. Now that GARS has become so big, some advisers will be keen to diversify exposure to GARS, so credible rivals will be considered. With GARS by far and away from its biggest seller, Standard Life should develop and bring on other funds of GARs quality.