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FI&S in retail fund push

Friends Ivory & Sime is reorganising its fund range and planning new launches in a bid to become a major retail brand in the UK investment market.

The range will concentrate on FI&S&#39s expertise in areas such as socially responsible investment and UK smaller companies, with the first launches to go ahead this summer.

Following the success of its Baronsmead funds, FI&S will also continue to focus on the VCT market and is expected to offer the first socially responsible VCT later this year.

The new range will include an Oeic which will encompass the converted Friends Prov-ident unit trust range, which was bought by FI&S in March.

Another fund, to be launched in June, will mean the conversion of an institutional All-Share tracker fund to retail status, with a range of sub-funds added in July and August.

FI&S says it aims to grow its share of the retail investment market to 4 per cent from 0.5 per cent by 2005.

Head of retail and group marketing David Norman says the group is not looking to be an all-round fund manager. Instead, he says it will aim to become a leader in certain areas of the fund management arena.

Norman says: “The is the single biggest strategic initiative Friends Ivory & Sime has undertaken. We will achieve success by a continued dedication to excellence in producing investment performance, managing products which meet the needs of our investors in the various segments of the market and by aligning ourselves to deliver to our customers.”

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