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Fund firms in 11th-hour bids to boost Isa sales

The UK&#39s biggest fund managers are adopting emergency tactics in a bid to buck current bear market sentiment and boost last-minute Isa sales.

Threadneedle Investments is urging clients to invest in its cautious managed fund rather than waste their Isa allowance. It says it will then offer free switches into any of its other funds when investors feel more confident about the market.

Fidelity, Merrill Lynch Investment Managers and Henderson Global Investors are offering phasing schemes, allowing clients&#39 Isa money to be invested over six months rather than instantly exposed to the volatile markets.

Last week, Jupiter set up its end of tax year assault by teaming up with website Lastminute.com to provide online Isas while Chase Fleming Asset Management is handing out Isa applications at London&#39s rail stations.

Perpetual is offering an Isa where investors can hold their full £7,000 maxi Isa allowance in cash for up to six months followed by a free switch into any of its equity funds. It is also offering last-minute online Isa investors the chance to win a weekend in Henley.

Simpsons partner Andrew Merricks believes providers are right to encourage investors to use their Isa allowance.

He says: “With the exception of Japan, history and statistics show, particularly in an environment of falling interest rates, that equities are the place to be at the moment.”

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