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Fidelity seeks distributor status for funds

Fidelity is looking to secure UK distributor status for its 12 Luxemburg-listed multi-manager funds.

The three multi-asset portfolios and nine specialist funds focusing on a single region or sector are registered for sale across Europe, including the UK. The firm says they will appeal only to UK investors who gain access through offshore bonds but lack distributor status.

Fidelity says it is important to build a global multi-manager business as a natural extension of its UK business, particularly with multi-manager becoming a global phenomenon.

Prior to launching the new funds, it engaged research firm Cerulli Associates to measure recent growth within the global multi-manager market and prospects for future growth.

Cerulli found that net new sales of multi-manager portfolios have grown by 17 per cent a year in the last five years compared with 5 per cent a year for all mutual fund assets. Growth until 2009 is forecast at an average of 18 per cent a year.

Multi-manager business managing director Simon Ellis says: “There is a lot of demand globally for multi-manager and that presents opportunities. The launch of our specialist funds reflects the fact that multi-manager is becoming mainstream. Many distributors want to asset allocate but do not want to be involved in the fund selection process. The multi-asset portfolios are in response to retail and institutional demand for funds where assets with different correlations will produce smoothed returns.”

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