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Press Release

Wednesday 6 July 2011


Investment fund statistics - May 2011

The Investment Management Association today publishes its monthly fund statistics for May 2011.

Key findings: 

  • Net retail sales of £1.1 billion in May
  • Bonds surpass equities as the leading asset class
  • Highest May ISA sales since 2000
  • Highest selling IMA Sector—£ Strategic Bond

Richard Saunders, Chief Executive at the Investment Management Association (IMA), comments:

“May’s figures show the usual levelling off of fund sales following the end of the tax year.

“Net retail sales totalled £1.1 billion in May, with bonds replacing equities as the highest selling asset class. The £ Strategic Bond sector was the highest selling sector, with £341 million in net retail sales in May.

“Net ISA sales totalled £528 million in May, the highest single month outside the ISA season in eleven years.”


May 2011 £593.8 billion £1.1 billion £528 million
May 2010 £500.5 billion £1.0 billion £393 million



May saw net retail sales of £1.1 billion, below the monthly average of £1.8 billion for the previous 12 months but higher than May 2010’s £1.0 billion.

ISA sales

Net ISA sales for May totalled £528 million, the highest level since 2000, when excluding the ISA season of March and April.


Funds under management in May totalled £593.8 billion. (The FTSE 100 closed at 5,990 at the end of May, 1.3% down on April (6,070).)

Funds under management for ISAs remained steady at £109.2 billion in May 2011.

(See Table 2)


The leading asset class was Bonds with net retail sales of £497 million in May, in line with the monthly average of £489 million for the past twelve months.

Net retail sales of ‘Balanced’ funds totalled £180 million in May, below the monthly average of £298 million for the past 12 months.

Sales of equity funds totalled £64 million in May 2011, well below the monthly average of £657 million for the past 12 months and the lowest level since February 2009.

(See Table 4)


The £ Strategic Bond was the best selling IMA Sector, with net retail sales of £341 million in May, well above the monthly average of £220 million for the previous 12 months. This is the fifth month in a row that the £ Strategic Bond sector has been the top selling IMA sector. In May the £ Strategic Bond sector accounted for 35% of gross retail sales of bonds.

Global was the second most popular IMA Sector in May with £143 million in net retail sales, below the monthly average of £164 million for the previous 12 months. This is the third month in a row that the Global sector has been in the top five selling sectors.

The Unclassified Sector was the third most popular IMA Sector in May, with net retail sales of £139 million, slightly below the monthly average of £117 million for the past 12 months.

Net retail sales of Global Bonds, the fourth most popular IMA Sector, totalled £137 million in May, the highest level since November 2010.


IMA Sector Asset Class Ranking - 
May 2011
Ranking -  
April 2011
 £ Strategic Bond Bonds  1 1
 Global Equities  2 2
 Unclassified Other  3 3
 Global bonds Bonds  4 27
 Cautious Managed Balanced  5 5

 (See Table 8d)


Gross retail sales for 'Other Intermediaries' - which includes Wealth Managers and Stockbrokers - totalled £3.8 billion for May. Other Intermediaries continued to take the largest market share in May, with 50% of total sales.

Gross retail sales through Fund Platforms* totalled £3.1 billion in May. Net retail sales through Fund Platforms totalled £0.9 billion in May, broadly in line with the monthly average for the last twelve months. Platforms’ market share was 41% of total gross retail sales in May 2011.

Direct channels’ gross retail sales totalled £0.7 billion in May. Sales through direct channels accounted for 9% of total sales.

(See Table 5)


Funds under management for Fund Platforms**were £113 billion in May 2011, the highest on record. 

Gross sales of Unwrapped funds (funds sold without a tax wrapper) totalled £1.1 billion in May 2011 and accounted for 34% of total sales made through fund platforms.

Following the end of the tax season, gross sales of funds held within ISAs dropped from £1.3 billion in April to £879 million in May.

(See Table 6)


Net institutional sales totalled £645 million in May 2011. 

(See Table 4)


Overseas domiciled funds saw outflows of £100 million in May 2011, compared with a monthly average inflow of £163 million for the previous 12 months.

May 2011 £31.9 billion £-99.5 million £-0.3 million
May 2010 £23.5 billion £53.0 million £-1.0 million

(See Table 10)


For further information, please contact:
Clare Murphy-McGreevey, Media Relations Manager, IMA, 020 7831 0898 or 07843 517618
Mona Patel, Head of Communications, IMA, 020 7831 0898 or 07834 089332
Louise Marriott, Lansons Communications, 020 7566 9723
Jennifer Stevens, Lansons Communications, 020 7566 9723

The IMA's press releases and statistical information can all be found at

Notes for Editors

For more details on the figures given in the press release, please see tables below.

All tables

1   Summary table
2   Funds under management - by asset class
3   Sales - gross, net and ISAs
4   Sales - net sales by asset class
5   Sales - by distribution channel
6   Sales - by Platforms
7   Sectors - funds under management and sales
8   Sectors - gross and net sales                                     
9   Sectors - best and worst selling
10 Offshore funds - funds under management and sales 
11 Sectors - investment performance


Funds under management - by month
Sales - net retail sales past year

The IMA's figures for fund sales cover UK authorised unit trusts and open ended investment companies (OEICs).  The IMA publishes these figures on a monthly basis.

Funds comprise a key element of the UK's £3 trillion asset management industry, which also covers pension and insurance company funds, including £1 trillion invested on behalf of overseas clients.  Each year the IMA publishes its annual Asset Management Survey, which looks at the industry in the round. 

Net retail sales comprise total retail sales minus repurchases, thus the figures can result in a negative figure or outflow. 

Definition of IMA £ Strategic Bond

Funds which invest at least 80% of their assets in Sterling denominated (or hedged back to Sterling) fixed interest securities. This includes convertibles, preference shares and permanent interest bearing shares (PIBs).  At any point in time the asset allocation of these funds could theoretically place the fund in one of the other Fixed Interest sectors. The funds will remain in this sector on these occasions since it is the Manager's stated intention to retain the right to invest across the Sterling fixed interest credit risk spectrum.

Fund Platforms
* The figure for Fund Platform sales covers 12 Platforms comprising Ascentric, Aviva Wrap, AXA Elevate, Cofunds, Fidelity; Hargreaves Lansdown, James Hay Wrap, Novia, Nucleus, Skandia (including Selestia, Skandia Multifunds and Skandia Life), Standard Life Savings, and Transact. Platform data includes sales made through IFAs as well as direct.
** Five leading Fund Platforms - Cofunds, Fidelity, Hargreaves Lansdown, Skandia and Transact - provide the IMA with figures of their sales, repurchases and funds under administration, with figures going back to January 2008.  The five platforms are providing sales data for ISAs, Personal Pensions, Insurance Bonds, and funds sold without a wrapper (unwrapped).  Between them, these five leading platforms account for around 85% of the gross sales of the full list of Platforms included in the section on retail distribution.

Direct Channels
Direct includes sales forces and tied agents, private clients and other direct to investor sales without intermediation.

Variations in figures
Each month small revisions to the figures may have been made since previous press releases. This reflects additional information received by the IMA.

About the Investment Management Association
The IMA is the trade body for the UK's £3 trillion asset management industry.  The money its members manage is in a wide variety of investment vehicles including authorised investment funds, pension funds and stocks and shares ISAs.  Our purpose is to support and promote a commercially successful and growing UK investment management industry as we seek to improve the financial outcomes for customers - savers and investors.

Investment management association