EUROPE – Fidelity has been ranked the best supplier of third party funds in Europe for the fourth year running, according to a survey of 300 European distributors carried out by Sector Analysis, the London based pan European asset management research firm.

The survey was the result of interviews with 306 organisations such as pension plans, banks, insurance companies, intermediaries and portfolio managers from France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.

Overall, it shows that there is a large number of players in the market, with no one company yet achieving market dominance. However, the report suggests that the fact that the same players continue to come out on top is indicative of a consolidation of the market into fewer “mega-brand” suppliers.

Sector Analysis sought to measure the competitive position of suppliers of third party funds by asking respondents to rate suppliers according to brand recognition (how well they are known), how much third party business the suppliers do and how well regarded they are.
Fidelity came out tops in all categories, with J.P. Morgan a universal second.
Deutsche Bank, Invesco and Merrill Lynch make up the top five list.

The results found that Fidelity, J.P. Morgan, Invesco and Merrill Lynch are truly pan European in their coverage and profile, whilst other companies, such as Deutsche Bank, are more dependent on their strong domestic market position.

Other key findings include :
•growth in third party usage is significantly lower in 2001 than was expected in 2000
•there seems to be less average third party decline in Germany and Italy
•performance continues to be the most important selection criterion
•price is still not important
•up-to-date information is vital
•the internet is crucial for distributors in selecting and managing funds.