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IFAs&#39 share of fund sales soars to 61%

IFAs took the lion&#39s share of unit trust sales last year with a leap from 48 per cent to 61 per cent of the market.

Autif figures show IFA sales rose by £8.7bn to £22.5bn from £13.8bn in 1999. Tied agents and salesforces saw their market share slump from 27 per cent to 20 per cent.

Despite the launch of several fund supermarkets in 2000 such as Egg and Fidelity, direct sales fell from 22 per cent to 18 per cent of the market.

Autif statistics also show that the Isa season got off to a slow start. Net Isa sales for December fell by 17 per cent to £480m from £580m in December 1999 and by 16 per cent from November 1999.

Industry experts predict that several of the big-name fund managers, which took billions of pounds on the back of the technology boom last year, are expected to find Isa season sales down by 30-40 per cent this year.

Michael Philips partner Michael Both says: “The increase in IFA market share is an absolute confirmation that unit trusts are becoming mainstream products and that people realise they do not just want advice, they want independent advice. It is a clear endorsement of polarisation.”

l Investment, p30

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