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Morgan looks to double IFA sales

JP Morgan Asset Management aims to double the amount of business it does through IFAs from £3.5bn to £7bn by 2012.

The firm says the target is not unrealistic as it is one of the few firms making positive returns in the current market.

Head of UK retail sales Michael Parsons says: “With sales up by £500m in the first half of 2008, we are one of a handful of fund firms that are producing a positive business in this current market while others are losing rather than making money.

“Sales at the moment are driven by cautious, defensive investments where we have a number of strong offerings. However, we are keen to ensure the likes of our UK, European and US ranges stay in peak condition when the market turns so investors continue to see us as leaders in the marketplace.”

JPM is also launching a sterling share class for its Highbridge statistical market-neutral fund.

The Luxemburg Sicav launched in 2006 and has grown to £1.75bn. The fund invests in US equities through a series of matched long and short investments.

Parsons says: “We want to push a vehicle like this, which investors could only previously access as a euro-denominated share class, as it does the job in a tough market like this one, something which the BlackRock UK absolute alpha fund has built a successful reputation upon.”

Plan Invest investment adviser Will Beighton says: “JPM is a group that we like and use for the likes of its natural resources and cautious total return funds.

“The firm will need to bring a few more of its funds out to IFAs to reach those targets if markets stay as they are.”

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