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New Star&#39s sluggish retail sales spark fears for Isas

New Star, one of the industry&#39s most high-profile groups, is reporting sluggish retail sales for the year so far, fuelling fears that the Isa season could be another damp squib.

The firm, which accounts for 8 per cent of net retail fund sales, says its overall fund flows are buoyant but admits that sales through private investors are depressed, giving weight to fears that the Isa season will mirror the poor season last year. If it does, some fund groups believe this year could be the last Isa season in the traditional sense as firms increasingly seek to emphasise the importance of year-round investing.

New Star says the inflows it is attracting are trickling into cautious funds such as its distribution fund and its multimanager offering, New Star Portfolio. But marketing director Rob Page, who argues that there are currently sound macro reasons for investors to return to markets, says the group&#39s mainstream funds, which it has marketed heavily, are still not attracting significant sums of money.

However, Page believes that inflows will pick up as the tax deadline looms, which he says should result in a small Isa season driven by sales in specialist areas.

He says: “We believe fund flows this season are going to come in very late. Mainstream equity funds are not taking off. There are very good macro reasons to invest and overall sales are buoyant but the man-on-the-street sales – the retail sales – are still slow.”

Gartmore head of UK retail Paul Feeney says: “The houses have had to come away from the Isa season because of low demand. Everyone talks about it but it is becoming less relevant. This may be the last time we see an Isa season.”


Bullivant replaces Lawless as MD

Sofa&#39s new managing director Bob Bullivant is aiming for chartered status for the society. Bullivant replaces Brian Lawless who is moving to Exeter, where he becomes business development director with IFA the Jelf Group. Bullivant is joining Sofa from Britannic Retirement Solutions, where he was corporate development director before the firm closed its doors to […]

Letwin paves a path between taxation and public services

Oliver Letwin has unveiled key elements of his economic strategy designed to put the brakes on overall public spending while ensuring that more cash is pumped into health and education. And while the Shadow Chancellor aims to reduce the share of national wealth spent by Government – by slashing back on bureaucracy and curbing the […]

Payouts fall by 6% at Friends

Friends Provident is cutting payouts on with-profits policies by an average of 6 per cent despite the fund showing growth for the first time in three years. A 65-year-old male paying £200 a month into a conventional with-profits personal pension over 20 years will receive £127,273, down from £146,373 in August last year. A male […]

Independent view

In the world of financial advice, what is set as policy has implications years down the line. It is even more difficult when we are not sure what future policy will be because it has not been clarified. Let me tell you a story which will demonstrate that there are present issues we need to […]

Cricket - thumbnail

England vs Australia: pensions

Well, the cricket season is here, and England and Australia are stepping up to the wicket. Although we compete with each other in the sporting world, when it comes to pensions, Australia’s pension programme is held up as a model for our auto-enrolment initiative. Auto-enrolment was introduced because people weren’t saving enough into their pensions, and it is still early days but signs are positive. However, in Australia, saving into a pension is compulsory, and in fact employers are the ones who have to pay in. Employees in Australia can make additional contributions into their pensions, but they don’t have to. Should the onus be on the employer or employee to save? Well in the UK we think it’s both, but to get ‘adequate’ savings for retirement it’s the employee who has to pay more in.


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