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2017: A record year with adviser purchases of investment companies close to £1billion

26 March 2018

AIC reveals the latest data from Matrix Financial Clarity.

Latest research from the Association of Investment Companies (AIC) using Matrix Financial Clarity has revealed purchases of investment companies by advisers and wealth managers on adviser platforms in 2017 reached a record £990m. This was 46% up on £679m in 2016 and 41% up on the previous high of £704m in 2015.

Total purchases of all products on platforms showed year-on-year growth, but to a smaller extent. They amounted to £124.9bn in 2017, which was 18% higher than in 2016 (£105.5bn).

In Q4 investment company purchases totalled £239m, the same as in Q3 (£239m) and 16% higher than in Q4 2016 (£206m). Purchases of investment companies in the first two quarters of 2017 were slightly higher, £254m in Q1 2017 and £258m in Q2 2017, reflecting the broad trend in platform purchases of all products.

The most popular investment company sectors over the whole of 2017 were Global (17% of purchases), Property Direct – UK (11%), UK Equity Income (10%), Debt (7%), Infrastructure (6%) and Property Specialist (6%).

Ian Sayers, Chief Executive of the Association of Investment Companies said: “Adviser purchases of investment companies have reached an all-time high and that’s excellent news as the industry celebrates its 150th year. Advisers are recommending investment companies due to their strong long-term performance and dividend record, innovation through new asset classes and the durability of the investment company structure.

“It’s significant that four out of the six most popular sectors for advisers are in alternative assets generating attractive yields, and two of these sectors are property. Since the problems experienced by most open-ended property funds after the Referendum, property investment companies have grown in popularity. Advisers are clearly recognising the suitability of the closed-ended investment company structure for illiquid assets.”

Key findings from the research:

  • Over the 12 months of 2017, the AIC property sectors as a whole accounted for 20% of purchases on adviser platforms, compared to 19% in 2016 and 14% in 2015. This follows strong demand in the second half of 2016 in the aftermath of the EU referendum.

    The platforms accounting for the greatest share of investment company purchases in 2017 were Transact (39% of purchases), Alliance Trust Savings (21%), Ascentric (16%), FundsNetwork (7%), Raymond James (6%) and 7IM (5%).

  • The number of firms purchasing investment companies on adviser platforms was 1,352 in Q4 2017. The average for the 2017 calendar year was 1,365.


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  1. The Association of Investment Companies (AIC) was founded in 1932 to represent the interests of the investment trust industry – the oldest form of collective investment.  Today, the AIC represents a broad range of closed-ended investment companies, incorporating investment trusts and other closed-ended investment companies and VCTs.  The AIC’s members believe that the industry is best served if it is united and speaks with one voice. The AIC’s mission statement is to help members add value for shareholders over the longer term. The AIC has 347 members and the industry has total assets of approximately £174 billion.
  2. Disclaimer: The information contained in this press release does not constitute investment advice or personal recommendation and it is not an invitation or inducement to engage in investment activity. You should seek independent financial and, if appropriate, legal advice as to the suitability of any investment decision. Past performance is not a guide to future performance.  The value of investment company shares, and the income from them, can fall as well as rise.  You may not get back the full amount invested and, in some cases, nothing at all.


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