* Q1 net inflows 5.6 bln stg vs year-ago 1.6 bln
* Net assets rise to 236.5 bln stg
* Warns strong retail demand unlikely to continue
LONDON, May 2 (Reuters) - British fund manager Schroders attracted 5.6 billion pounds ($8.7 billion) of net new money in the first quarter, buoyed by strong retail demand for equities that it warned was unlikely to continue.
In a trading statement on Thursday, Schroders said assets under management rose to 236.5 billion pounds by the end of March, up 11.5 percent from 212 billion in December, with the rise coming from inflows and positive investment performance.
The net new money was far more than in the first quarter of last year, when Schroders added 1.6 billion pounds.
While Schroders' asset management business saw strong net inflows, its private banking unit reported 200 million of net outflows. Schroders said its acquisition of rival Cazenove Capital - a move to bulk up its business of serving wealthy private banking clients - was is on track to complete in July.
Analysts at brokerage Numis described the update as "a good set of results", with net inflows 1 billion pounds higher than it had forecast.
Rallying stock markets this year have encouraged investors to put more of their money in funds.
For some, such as Aberdeen Asset Management and Ashmore Group, the first quarter was one of their strongest for attracting new money in several years.
"We saw significant retail investor demand in the first quarter on the back of buoyant equity markets. While we do not expect demand to continue at this level, we remain well placed for continued growth," Schroders said in the statement.