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Product matters

DWS&#39s move to launch a managed fund of funds and a fixed-interest fund shows that there are still some players who think the retail market can stand yet more choice.

With many groups looking to contract their fund ranges, it is interesting to consider why DWS might want to issue two relatively mainstream funds.

The answer is that DWS aims to be a top 10 player and everybody who wants to play in that division needs decent managed and corporate bond funds in their retail line-up.

The managed distribution fund adopts the fettered fund of funds model so lead manager Jonathan Arthur will be choosing from DWS&#39s existing equity and bond fund range.

DWS does have some solid choices within its range but it will have to fight very hard to compete in a market where unfettered multi-manager funds are likely to dominate future “managed” fund sales.

The DWS fixed-interest function is very solid and while it is currently not prominent in retail, it does have the credentials to make DWS a key provider of fixed interest in the future.

This is a hotly contested area and they will have to work hard to break into it but over time we might expect to see them alongside the established players.

DWS&#39s ambition to be a top 10 player will be difficult to realise and the challenge is made even harder for any group, including DWS, which does not have a multi-manager proposition.

James Dalby is head of investments at Bates Investment Services


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