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Property fund puts New Star in top spot

New Star topped the retail fund sales tables in the last quarter of 2004 with a 175 per cent rise in business, beating its nearest competitor by 50m.

The firm’s net retail sales were 268.85m over the quarter. Framlington was in second place with 217m while Skandia fell from top spot to third with sales of 175.42m.

Fidelity increased its sales from 119m to 159m to finish fourth, according to the Pridham report. Fidel-ity retained the best total gross retail sales and the highest sales via fund supermarkets but New Star was the second most popular group among supermarket customers and its net sales beat Fidelity by over 100m.

The Pridham report attributes New Star’s performance to its acquisition of Edinburgh’s property fund in 2003 and its subsequent decision to bring management of the fund in house under Roger Dossett, Ken Malone and Stephen Whittaker. The fund has been popular with IFAs and accounts for 25 per cent of New Star’s total sales. Much of New Star’s advertising and marketing budget was spent on promoting property in the second half of 2004.

New Star’s range of multi-manager funds have performed steadily at 24.2m although, among pure fund management houses, Jupiter has made the most progress with sales up by 20 per cent from 44.9m to 54.5m in the fourth quarter.

Hargreaves Lansdown senior analyst Meera Patel is unsurprised by New Star’s success. She says: “They have done a lot of advertising over the last year. Almost everywhere you turn, there are New Star ads. Their marketing and pr strategy seems to be right and once a company has this, it is a winner. John Duffield’s strong name and reputation are also backed by strong performance. New Star’s UK growth, higher income, sterling bond, European growth fund and property funds have all been easy sells to the public.”

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