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Invesco leads final Isa surge

Leading investment firms are reporting a strong end to the Isa season, with Neil Woodford’s Invesco Perpetual high-income fund leading the way.

A number of firms say that despite a slow start, the closing weeks saw more activity than 2008.

Bestinvest senior investment adviser Adrian Lowcock says the figures were markedly down at the end of February but imp-roved sales in the past few weeks have seen the final numbers approach similar levels seen in 2008.

Lowcock says in addition to corporate bonds and UK equity income, the firm has also recommended increased exposure to the US and Asia.

Chelsea Financial Services says preliminary results show that figures are broadly similar to 2008 figures, with Invesco Perpetual high-income the top seller. Managing director Darius McDermott says: “We have a Cofunds’ cash reserve fund which is one of the more popular. Other successful funds include First State Asia Pacific and New Star European growth, which is perhaps a surprising offering in our top 20, given what has happened there.”

Skerritt Consultants head of investments Andy Merricks says the firm’s figures are slightly up on 2008, with the firm also placing cash assets into stocks and shares Isas on a temporary basis.

Fidelity FundsNetwork has yet to publish its final Isa totals but its figures for the end of February show a huge preference for UK corporate bonds.

Head of UK retail sales Peter Hicks says: “Early indications suggest that Isa sales are slightly down this tax year end compared with last year for both Fidelity and FundsNetwork as a whole.”

Hicks says the IFA channel performed better than the direct channel, with Invesco again topping fund sales on the platform at April 2, followed by the FNW cash park facility.

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