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Boutiques close in on big brands

Boutiques are beginning to replace big investment firms on advisers’ buy lists as they turn in top performance.

Research by Hargreaves Lansdown, which asked 500 clients who their clients were most likely to invest with, saw Neptune, First State and Artemis overtake bigger brands such as Schroders, Thread- needle and Gartmore, which were absent from the top 10.

Invesco Perpetual topped the list, due largely to the performance of Neil Woodford’s two income funds, with Jupiter placed second.

Neptune took third place ahead of Fidelity, having seen its assets grow from £946m in December 2006 to £2.2bn in January 2008. Much of its growth has come in emerging market funds in Russia, China and India.

Artemis and First State feature in fifth and ninth places.

Hargreaves Lansdown investment manager Ben Yearsley says the results show a change in the investment landscape.

He says: “It is great to see names like Neptune, which did not even exist at the turn of the century, making it into the upper echelons of fund management on the back of stellar performance.

“The Russia and Greater Russia fund, run by Neptune founder Robin Geffen, is one of the top 10 best sellers on our platform every month and it is good to see that its performance as a whole is recognised.

“First State has a number of funds in sexy areas while New Star’s inclusion at number eight, despite going through a bad time, is probably thanks to the extensive advertising campaign it has done to catch the imagination.”

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