AMP New Zealand says a downturn in global markets and the closure of some of its older products are behind its drop in retail funds under management last year.

Figures from actuarial research firm Strategic Insight show AMP was the only major player to lose ground in 2018 with total retail funds under management rising 5.4 per cent to $97.3 billion.

AMP's FUM fell 4.6 per cent to $11.038b, although it remains the fourth largest player with an 11.3 per cent share of retail investors money which includes KiwiSaver.

Continuous Disclosure can't help thinking that fallout from the Australian Royal Commission and uncertainty over its future in New Zealand are factors in the drop.

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Plans to separately list AMP New Zealand's investment management business have been put on hold while the company works through the sale of its life insurance business but a fall in funds under management won't help with its sale prospects.

Analysis provided by Strategic's Daniel Morris show AMP's investment earnings were largely on par with the rest of the market but inflows to the provider fell 11 per cent to $1.49b compared to the overall market where inflows were up 17 per cent.

But the investment manager also managed to reduce its outflows by 21 per cent on the prior year.

An AMP New Zealand spokesman said it had positive cashflow into its contemporary products.

"...the slight reduction in funds under management reflects not only global market performance, but also the ongoing renovation and simplification of our products, including the closure of some older products."

The spokesman said the Strategic Insight data did not include provision for the transfer of clients and funds (rather than outflows) from some proprietary products on to AMP advice platforms.

The figures show the biggest winner last year was the BNZ which saw a 27.5 jump in funds under management over the year to $1.988b although it still has only 2 per cent market share.

Milford Asset Management also did well, up 18.8 per cent to $5.737b followed by ASB up 11.8 per cent to $14.464b.

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Across the different types of investments KiwiSaver funds under management grew 9.1 per cent to $52.2b while other superannuation funds were down 7.5 per cent to $6.4b.

Unit trusts were up 3.2 per cent to $38.4b while insurance and investment bonds fell 12.2 per cent to $268m.