Boutique firms suffer as RDR sparks 'flight to trust'

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Boutique fund managers suffered a marked slowdown in growth ahead of the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) as investors flocked to trusted brand names, according to new research from the IMA.

The trade body’s 11th annual Asset Management Survey revealed its boutique members grew 3.9% in terms of AUM in 2012, below the wider industry growth rate of 7.9% for the first time ever. Growth has softened considerably since 2011, when boutiques posted a 29% increase in AUM, well ahead of the average of 17%.  “This may suggest a more challenging commercial and operational environment for smaller players, which is now increasingly coupled with growing regulatory burdens,” said the survey. It warned one of the unintended consequences of RDR could be a more polarised fund management...

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