US investment giant Massachusetts Financial Services is set to enter the
UK IFA market in January with a new range of UK-based funds with different
share classes for fee and commission-based advisers.
Boston-based MFS, which has around $150bn (£107bn) under management,
is the fifth-biggest fund manager in the US.
The company plans to start its UK assault with the launch of four or five
core funds and will principally target the IFA and institutional markets.
MFS has been in Europe since 1994 but as yet has failed to build itself a
It says it plans to differentiate itself in the UK retail market by
remaining focused on IFAs' needs and avoiding the direct market.
MFS International marketing director Mark Rogers says the firm's initial
UK products are likely to be clones of some of its existing Luxemburg-based
However, he says the UK offerings will have three share classes catering
for fee-based IFAs, commission-based IFAs and institutions. Although MFS
will look to enter into the Isa market, Rogers says its products are
principally tailored for the top end of the market.
Rogers says targeting the intermediary is a strategic move. He says: “It
is the same model that we have tried and tested in the States. I believe
that more and more people are going to be looking for advice in the UK.”