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US giant setting sights on UK IFAs

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

big profile.

It says it plans to differentiate itself in the UK retail market by

remaining focused on IFAs&#39 needs and avoiding the direct market.

MFS International marketing director Mark Rogers says the firm&#39s initial

UK products are likely to be clones of some of its existing Luxemburg-based

funds.

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.”

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