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Fidelity and Threadneedle lead fund firms on assets

Threadneedle has leapfrogged Invesco Perpetual and Scottish Widows Unit Trust Managers to become the UK&#39s second-biggest fund company in terms of assets under management in 2003.

IMA figures show that Threadneedle increased its funds under management by 26 per cent from £9.75bn to £12.36bn last year, ranking it behind only first-placed Fidelity, which grew its assets from £16.28bn to £22bn.

Like most fund managers, both had seen their assets slump between 2001 and 2002.

Widows, which was ranked second last year, increased assets by 20.9 per cent from £9.96bn to £12bn. This knocked Invesco Perpetual into fourth , with assets up by 16 per cent from £9.95bn to £11.6bn.

Halifax Investment Fund Managers was the biggest winner in terms of percentage increases, growing its assets by 56 per cent from £5.34bn to £8.33bn, elevating it to eighth spot from 10th.

Newton Fund Managers, buoyed by income fund sales, also had a strong year, with assets increasing by 42 per cent from £4.12bn to £5.85bn, boosting its ranking to 11th from 16th. Gartmore slipped to ninth from eighth with growth of just 4 per cent from £6.42bn to £6.68bn.

New Star, on the list for the first time after rapidly snapping up assets in 2003, ranked 17th with £4.55bn under management. This was slightly behind Jupiter which, despite growing its funds under management by 28 per cent from £4.36bn to £5.59bn, slipped to 14th place from 13th.

Threadneedle communications director Richard Eats says: “One of the main reasons we did so well last year was the strong bond business we attracted. This year, we think risk will be rewarded. Unusually, we are above the industry consensus for earnings.”

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