UPDATE 1-Henderson retail investors drive $5 bln flow of new funds

Thu Apr 24, 2014 3:27am EDT

* Total assets under management 79.2 bln stg

* Three-quarters of funds outperform benchmarks over 1 yr

* Shares up more than 2 percent (Adds background, more CEO comment)

LONDON, April 24 (Reuters) - Investment manager Henderson Group has maintained the momentum of new money flowing into its funds in the first quarter of the year as its increasingly confident retail clients put more of their cash to work.

In a trading statement on Thursday, Henderson said the net flow of money added to its funds under management was 3 billion pounds ($5 billion) in the first quarter of the year.

Total assets under management reached 79.2 billion pounds at the end of March, up from 75.2 billion at the end of 2013.

"The strong support we saw from clients at the end of 2013 in our retail business continued through the first quarter and in our institutional business, flows were stable," Chief Executive Andrew Formica said.

The company also said three quarters of its funds were outperforming their benchmarks over one year and 82 percent over three years.

Henderson is on an expansion drive, aiming to double its assets by 2018 and push beyond its core UK market.

"We are investing selectively in our core capabilities, making new hires and developing our global footprint," Formica said.

He added the company was still seeing strong demand but remained watchful for any deterioration in market conditions in which case it was "ready to take action on costs."

Henderson's shares were trading more than 2 percent higher in early trading.

($1 = 0.5960 British Pounds) (Reporting by Chris Vellacott. Editing by Clare Hutchison and Mark Potter)