AIC sector review

AIC overhauls investment company sectors following industry review.

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The Association of Investment Companies (AIC) has revamped its investment company sectors following an industry-wide consultation. Its new list of sectors and constituents comprises 13 new sectors, 15 renamed sectors and 31 sectors which are unchanged. The sector reorganisation takes effect from Tuesday 28 May 2019.

The changes follow a year-long review of investment company sectors which was overseen by the AIC’s independent statistics committee of brokers, research analysts and data providers. The AIC conducted the review in consultation with its members to ensure its investment company sectors were as clear and helpful as possible for investors.

Several of the new sectors reflect the greater numbers of investment companies investing in alternative assets. The amount of money invested by investment companies in alternative assets has grown by 92% over the past five years, rising from £39.5 billion in 2014 to £75.9 billion in 2019.

For example, Sector Specialist: Debt has been separated into three new sectors, Debt – Direct Lending, Debt – Loans & Bonds and Debt – Structured Finance. Similarly, companies in the Property Direct – UK and Property Specialist sectors have been reclassified as Property – UK Commercial, Property – UK Healthcare, Property – UK Residential or Property – Debt.

To accompany the revised list of sectors, the AIC has issued new sector descriptions so investors can easily understand what each sector invests in.

Ian Sayers, Chief Executive of the Association of Investment Companies (AIC), said: “We undertook this review to ensure that investment company sectors accurately reflect the shape of the industry today. Recent years have seen significant growth in investment companies investing in alternative assets, such as property, debt and infrastructure and the emergence of new asset classes such as leasing and royalties. Our new sectors allow investors to find and compare companies with similar characteristics easily. I’m confident the new sectors will play a useful role in helping inform investors’ decisions.”

New sectors

New sector

Sector description

Asia Pacific

Invests in the shares of larger quoted Asia Pacific companies.

Asia Pacific Income

Invests in the shares of larger quoted Asia Pacific companies, or high yielding securities, for a high income.

Asia Pacific Smaller Companies

Invests in the shares of smaller quoted Asia Pacific companies.

Debt – Direct Lending

Invests in direct lending.

Debt – Loans & Bonds

Invests in general loans and bonds.

Debt – Structured Finance

Invests in structured finance.

Growth Capital

Invests in unquoted shares. Generally takes non-controlling stakes in early to maturing companies.

Property – Debt

Invests in property debt.

Property – UK Commercial

Invests in UK commercial property.

Property – UK Healthcare

Invests in UK healthcare property.

Property – UK Residential

Invests in UK residential property.


Invests in royalties.

Technology & Media

Invests in technology and media.

Renamed sectors

New sector

Old sector

Biotechnology & Healthcare

Sector Specialist: Biotechnology & Healthcare

Commodities & Natural Resources

Sector Specialist: Commodities & Natural Resources

Country Specialist: Asia Pacific ex Japan

Country Specialists: Asia Pacific

Country Specialist: Europe ex UK

Country Specialists: Europe


Sector Specialist: Environmental


Sector Specialist: Financials

Forestry & Timber

Sector Specialist: Forestry & Timber


Sector Specialist: Infrastructure

Insurance & Reinsurance Strategies

Sector Specialist: Insurance & Reinsurance Strategies


Sector Specialist: Leasing

Liquidity Funds

Sector Specialist: Liquidity Funds

Property – Europe

Property Direct – Europe

Property – Rest of World

Property Direct – Asia Pacific

Renewable Energy Infrastructure

Sector Specialist: Infrastructure – Renewable Energy


Sector Specialist: Utilities

Unchanged sectors

Country Specialist: Latin America

Private Equity


Property Securities

European Emerging Markets

UK All Companies

European Smaller Companies

UK Equity & Bond Income

Flexible Investment

UK Equity Income


UK Smaller Companies

Global Emerging Markets

VCT AIM Quoted

Global Equity Income

VCT Generalist

Global High Income

VCT Generalist Pre Qualifying

Global Smaller Companies

VCT Specialist: Environmental

Hedge Funds

VCT Specialist: Healthcare & Biotechnology


VCT Specialist: Healthcare & Biotechnology Pre Qualifying

Japanese Smaller Companies

VCT Specialist: Infrastructure

Latin America

VCT Specialist: Media, Leisure & Events

North America

VCT Specialist: Technology

North American Smaller Companies


Click here to see all sector descriptions.


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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 359 members and the industry has total assets of approximately £189 billion.
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