Fund market continues strong start to 2021 with £2.4 billion inflows

In a continued strong start to the year, savers placed £2.4 billion into funds in February, data published today by the Investment Association (IA) reveals. The other key findings for February include:

  • Savers placed £969 million into Global equities, with Asia equities receiving £638 million.
  • Fixed income was the most popular asset class with £1.4 billion in net retail sales.
  • Savers looked for opportunities in smaller companies, with inflows of £252 million into North American Smaller Companies and £142 million into UK Smaller Companies.

Chris Cummings, Chief Executive of the Investment Association, said:

“Savers invested £2.4 billion into funds in February, with bond funds accounting for over half of inflows. The preference for Asian equities continues as the opening up of Asian economies following the pandemic advances ahead of Europe and the US. Global equities remain a perennial favourite as savers looked to spread their risk through globally diversified funds. Closer to home, UK Smaller Companies funds continued to buck the trend of outflows from funds investing in UK shares, receiving £142 million in February, and North American Smaller Companies funds also attracted strong inflows of £252 million.”



Funds Under Management

Net Retail Sales

Net Institutional Sales

February 2021 

£1.4 trillion

£2.4 billion

-£2.2 billion

February 2020

£1.3 trillion

£2.5 billion

-£2.9 billion



The five best-selling Investment Association sectors for February 2021 were:

  1. Global was first with net retail sales of £1.2 billion.
  2. Asia Pacific Excluding Japan was second with net retail sales of £510 million.
  3. Mixed Investment 40-85% Shares followed with net retail sales of £468 million.
  4. Volatility Managed was fourth with net retail sales of £337 million.
  5.  North American Smaller Companies was fifth with net retail sales of £252 million.

The worst-selling Investment Association sector in February 2021 was Global Bonds with an outflow of £987 million.



Fixed Income funds were the best-selling asset class in February 2021 with £1.4 billion in net retail sales.

Mixed Asset was the second best-selling asset class, with £838 million of inflows.

Other funds (which includes the Targeted Absolute Return, Volatility Managed, and Unclassified sectors) experienced £406 million of inflows.

Equity funds experienced £296 million of net retail sales.

Property funds however experienced £99 million in net retail outflows.

Money Market funds also experienced net retail outflows in February of £486 million.



Global was the best-selling equity fund region in February 2021, with net retail sales of £969 million.

Asia funds were second, seeing net retail inflows of £638 million.

All other regions saw outflows, with Japan funds experiencing net retail outflows of £74 million.

North America funds experienced net retail outflows of £94 million.

Europe funds saw net retail outflows of £228 million.

UK funds saw net retail outflows of £1 billion.



Tracker funds saw a net retail inflow of £993 million in February 2021. Tracker funds under management stood at £251 billion as of the end of February. Their overall share of industry funds under management was 17.5%.



Responsible investment funds saw a net retail inflow of £217 million in February 2021. Responsible investment funds under management stood at £61 billion as of the end of February. Their overall share of industry funds under management was 4.3%.



In February, gross retail sales for UK fund platforms totalled £15 billion, representing a market share of 48.1%.

Gross retail sales through Other UK Intermediaries including IFAs were £7 billion, representing a market share of 22.4%.

Direct gross retail sales in February were £1.8 billion, representing a market share of 5.8%.

For further information, please contact:

Katie Martin, Head of Communications: [email protected]

T: +44 (0)20 7269 4655

Helen Ayres, Communications Manager: [email protected] 

T: +44 (0)20 7269 4620

IA press office: [email protected]

T: 020 7269 4696

Notes to Editors: 


To see a breakdown of the data referenced in this press release, please see all of the tables here.

The Investment Association's figures for fund sales cover retail and institutional sales in authorised unit trusts and open ended investment companies (OEICs) provided by our membership to UK investors. The figures do not include investment trusts and ETFs.

Each month small revisions to figures have been made since the previous press release. This reflects additional information received by the Investment Association.

IA data on responsible investments has been collected using the IA's Responsible Investment Framework. Responsible investment incorporates firm-level and fund-level components. The data presented here is at the fund level where funds are pursuing one or more of the following responsible investment approaches and this approach is referenced in the fund documentation: exclusions; sustainability focus; impact investing.

Net retail sales comprise total retail sales minus repurchases (including switches between funds), thus the figures can result in a negative figure or outflow.

* Regional breakdown for equity funds

The following Investment Association sectors have been grouped together to compile the figures for regional equity sales:


Direct Channels

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

** The Investment Association’s ISA figures are based on information collected from fund companies and five fund platforms (AEGON, Fidelity, Hargreaves Lansdown, Quilter and Transact) where they are the ISA provider. Fund business through other ISA providers such as wealth managers is not included. The Investment Association’s figures cover about three-quarters of the whole of the market for funds held in ISAs.

About the Investment Association (IA):

  • The IA champions UK investment management, supporting British savers, investors and businesses. Our 250 members manage £8.5 trillion of assets and the investment management industry supports 113,000 jobs across the UK.
  • Our mission is to make investment better. Better for clients, so they achieve their financial goals. Better for companies, so they get the capital they need to grow. And better for the economy, so everyone prospers.
  • Our purpose is to ensure investment managers are in the best possible position to:
    • Build people’s resilience to financial adversity
    • Help people achieve their financial aspirations
    • Enable people to maintain a decent standard of living as they grow older
    • Contribute to economic growth through the efficient allocation of capital.
  • The money our members manage is in a wide variety of investment vehicles including authorised investment funds, pension funds and stocks and shares ISAs.
  • The UK is the second largest investment management centre in the world, after the US and manages 37% of all assets managed in Europe.