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F&C reports record year as it prepares for sale

F&C recorded gross new inflows of £703m into its Oeic range in 2007, a 37.3 per cent increase on 2006, in what was a record year for its open-ended investment funds.

It says in Q4, when the industry as a whole posted net redemptions, gross inflows reached £180m and net inflows were £94m, despite market turmoil.

F&C head of retail Nick Criticos says net sales, which take account of redemptions, were also exceptionally strong.

He says: “These rose by more than 27 per cent against a backdrop when industry net sales of UK domiciled retail funds actually declined by around a third over the previous year.

“Pleasingly we have not been reliant on any one product but have seen strong growth across our multi-manager range, our market leading ethical funds, our corporate bond range, the F&C UK growth and income fund and our high performing Asian products.”

The board of F&C Asset Management released a statement following news of parent company Friends Provident’s plans to sell off the company.

F&C says it “looks forward to working closely with Friends Provident in maximising value for all shareholders through the reorganisation of its ownership in the Company.”

F&C adds that as a result of the statements by Friends and further to discussions with the takeover panel the company is now deemed to be in an offer period.

It says that F&C has appointed Lazard and Lexicon Partners as joint financial
advisers and the board has not yet been approached by any potential buyers.

Wilson Dean Financial Services director Nick Lincoln says: “It has been touted for the past few weeks but in my eyes there is not that big a worry as F&C is a huge brand in its own right and any the idea that good managers would go in a merger is unlikely.”


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