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MFS is set for fresh push on UK market

US fund management firm MFS is preparing a fresh assault on the retail UK market.

MFS Investment Management, which markets three Oeics in the UK and has just been handed a mandate on the Witan investment trust, will apply for UK distributor status on its 14 Luxemburg funds.

It has £45m in assets under management in its continental European equ-ity fund, UK equity fund and US growth equity fund and is the US’s fifth-biggest fund firm, with $135bn under management.

The company is looking to take advantage of a gateway into the UK opened by Chancellor Gordon Brown in his Budget in March.

MFS was previously unable to market its Luxemburg funds in the UK because they rolled income over and so did not have a qualifying share class but because of Brown’s desire to bring more equality to European and UK funds, this has been relaxed.

UK sales director Jona-than Willcocks says this change in the rules could effectively boost the firm’s assets under management in the UK to around 900m.

Willcocks says: “This is a real opportunity for us to develop our market presence in the UK. Our presence is not that large over here, but we are starting to make headlines. Our assets under management could increase drastically if we get this distributor status.”

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