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F&C and LeggMason top websites&#39 survey

Foreign & Colonial and Legg-Mason Investors have the top websites in the investment trust market, according to a new online survey by Tay-burn New Media.

The research found the two companies scored seven out of a possible 10, followed closely by Aberdeen and Edinburgh Fund Managers who managed six points in the Tayburn study which looked at 30 different online criteria.

Lowest marks awarded by the survey went to 3i, one of the biggest institutional inv-estors which Tayburn said had a weak level of content. Also scoring near the bottom were Exeter Fund Managers&#39 and Invesco&#39s sites, both described as very basic. Tayburn points out in the aftermath of Invesco&#39s takeover by Perpetual, it is likely there will be an improvement with the sites merged into one.

The survey criteria included sophistication of the construction, usability, prominence of the brand, how well it spelt out the fund manager&#39s credentials and investment objectives, accessibility of performance reporting and how often Stock Exchange ann-ouncements and company press releases are updated.

The report uses BP Amoco, Abbey National and Logica&#39s websites as benchmarks, comparing the investment trust companies&#39 sites to theirs. These sites were identified as the best because of their high level of branding, functionality, gravity of content and solid investor relations.

Tayburn New Media project consultant Murray Dickson says: “We really expected the market-leading sites to fully exploit the opportunities of new media but we could not find a site that provided best practice investor relations functionality.”

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