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Adviser purchases of investment companies hit £985 million in 2018

19 March 2019

Launch of Smithson Investment Trust boosts sector.

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 2018 reached £985 million.

The year saw the launch of Smithson Investment Trust, the largest UK investment trust launch ever, which raised £822.5 million in its October IPO. It was also a year in which property investment companies, and those investing in other alternative assets, remained in strong demand. Property accounted for two of the top ten most-bought investment company sectors on adviser platforms in 2018, with Infrastructure, Private Equity and Debt also featuring among the most popular sectors (see table below).

The adviser platforms accounting for the biggest share of purchases of investment companies in 2018 were Transact (45% of purchases), Ascentric (19%), Alliance Trust Savings (17%), FundsNetwork (4%), 7IM (4%) and Raymond James (3%). Some 1,185 firms purchased investment companies on platforms during 2018.

Ian Sayers, Chief Executive of the Association of Investment Companies said: “We continued to see strong demand for investment companies during 2018, boosted by new launches including Smithson Investment Trust as well as the popularity of mainstream ‘income and growth’ stalwarts in the global and UK equity sectors.

“Purchases of investment companies on adviser platforms are nearly five times higher than they were in 2012, the last year before RDR came into force. However, there is still more work for us to do in persuading advisers of the benefits of investment companies. We encourage all advisers to take advantage of the free training the AIC offers, both online and face-to-face, to improve their knowledge of the sector.”

Most purchased investment company sectors on adviser platforms in 2018


AIC sector

Share of adviser platform purchases





UK Equity Income



Property Direct – UK






Property Specialist



Global Emerging Markets



Private Equity






Asia Pacific – excluding Japan



UK All Companies




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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 358 members and the industry has total assets of approximately £184 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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