Asset management Web sites in the U.K. and Germany are well ahead of the rest of the pack in Europe, according to preliminary results from a study scheduled to be released in April by kasina, a Web consulting firm. Of the 40 finalists chosen for the top 10 European Web sites (see below), 17 serve U.K. investors and 16 serve German investors.

In addition to selecting finalists for its top 10 list, kasina selected six finalists for the top three Web sites in the U.K., Germany, France, Sweden and Belgium, the markets covered in kasina’s study. Among those, Fidelity and INVESCO were the only firms to be named as finalists in multiple countries. Fidelity’s sites are finalists in the U.K., Germany and France. INVESCO’s are finalists in the U.K. and Belgium.

"Compared to our last study of the European asset management retail space, the preliminary results of this year’s study show some significant progress," said Alexandre Dussaucy, director of European business development at kasina.

For example, 80% of the 40 European finalists allow investors to check account balances online. Only 38% of the rest of the industry does, according to the study.

While asset management sites in Europe improved in 2001, those for investors in the U.K. and Germany now stand head and shoulders above the rest of the field, according to the study.

"This progress has not been an all-pervasive phenomenon," said Steven Miyao, CEO of kasina. "We see a significant gap between the leading European retail sites and the rest of the industry."

Asset management Web sites in countries other than the U.K. and Germany are lagging when it comes to online account services and content for retail investors. Of the 312 sites assessed, 46% of their firms did not respond to an e-mail inquiry within two business days, according to kasina.

Kasina’s 40 finalists for Europe’s top 10 asset management Web sites are (alphabetically):

Activest GmbH: www.activest.de

ADIG Investment: www.adig.de

Allianz Kapitalanlagegesellschaft: www.allianz.de

Cortal: www.cortal.fr

Canada Life Unit Trust Management: www.canadalife.co.uk

Capital Invest: www.capitalinvest.at

Credit Lyonnais Asset Management: www.clamdirect.com

Deka Investment: www.deka.de

Deutsche Postbank: www.postbank.de

DIT: www.dit.de

DWS Investment: www.dws.de

Edinburgh Investment Company: www.edfd.com

Fidelity Investments – Germany: www.fidelity.de

Fidelity Investments - United Kingdom: www.fidelity.co.uk

Foreign & Colonial: www.fandc.co.uk

Frankfurt Trust: www.frankfurt-trust.de

Franklin Templeton Investment Management: www.franklintempleton.de

INVESCO Perpetual: www.invesco.co.uk

JPMorgan Fleming Asset Management: www.jpmorganfleming.co.uk

Julius Baer: www.jbpl.com

Jupiter Unit Trust Managers: www.jupiteronline.co.uk

Lazard Fund Managers Ltd:

www.lazardnet.co.uk

Legg Masons Investors:

www.leggmasoninvestors.com

M&G Group:

www.mandg.co.uk

Merrill Lynch Fund Managers Ltd:

www.mlim.co.uk

Newton Fund Managers:

www.newton.co.uk

Norwich Union Trust Managers:

www.norwich-union.co.uk

Oppenheim Investment Management SA:

www.oppenheim.de

Pictet Fund Management SA:

www.pictet.com

Pioneer Investment Management Ltd:

www.pioneerinvestments.fr

Royal & Sun Alliance Management:

www.rsa-investments.co.uk

SKAG:

www.skag.siemens.de

Schroders – Luxembourg:

www.schroders.lu

Schroders - United Kingdom:

www.schroders.co.uk

Scottish Amicable UT Managers:

www.scottishamicable.co.uk

Scottish Widows Fund Management:

www.scottishwidows.co.uk

Societe Generale Asset Management:

www.sgam.fr

Standard Life Investments:

www.standardlifeinvestments.co.uk

Swiss Life Asset Management:

www.sl-am.de

Zürich Invest:

www.zurich-invest.de

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