Investment company H1 2023 review

Investment companies raised just under £1bn in tough first half.

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The first half of the year has been challenging for investment companies, with the average investment company returning just 0.3% to 30 June and the average discount widening to 14.0% from 12.3% on 1 January.

Fundraising conditions remained difficult in H1, with one new launch on the Main Market, Ashoka WhiteOak Emerging Markets Trust, raising £30.5m in May, and one launch on AIM in March, Onward Opportunities, raising £12.7m. Last year there were no new investment companies launched; in 2021 there were 16 IPOs raising £3.76 billion.

Existing investment companies raised £952m in the first six months, down 76% from £4.04bn in the first six months of 2022. The Hedge Funds sector raised most with £316m, followed by UK Equity Income with £147m and the Flexible Investment sector with £125m.

The largest fundraisings by existing companies were completed by BH Macro in the Hedge Funds sector raising £315m, 3i Infrastructure in the Infrastructure sector raising £102m and dividend hero City of London Investment Trust in the UK Equity Income sector raising £85m.

Boards have continued to negotiate fee changes to benefit shareholders with ten investment companies making amendments such as lowering management fees, introducing tiered fees and abolishing performance fees.

Management changes and mergers

Some investment company boards have taken more radical action. Three manager changes have been completed, shown in the table below. In addition, two changes of manager have been proposed: The Investment Company plans to appoint Chelverton Asset Management and Mid Wynd International has announced plans to appoint Lazard Asset Management.


Investment company (current name)

New management group

AIC sector

Previous management group



Marylebone Partners

Global Equity Income





AEW UK Investment Management

Property UK Residential

Alvarium Investments


Ceiba Investments


Property – Rest of World



One merger has been announced, with abrdn Japan Investment Trust planning to merge with Nippon Active Value Fund. If approved by shareholders, Nippon Active Value Fund will be the continuing company.


Three investment companies have wound up so far this year, displayed in the table below.


Investment company

Management group

AIC sector


Blue Planet Investment Trust

Blue Planet Investment Management



SME Credit Realisation Fund

SME Credit Realisation

Debt – Direct Lending


abrdn Latin American Income


Latin America


An additional two companies have shareholder approval to liquidate – Secured Income Fund and Crystal Amber Fund. Civitas Social Housing has shareholder approval for a sale to Wellness Unity Ltd (CK Bidco) and CT Property is seeking shareholder approval for a bid by LondonMetric Property. In addition, a further eight investment companies have announced strategic reviews where liquidations or mergers are being considered.

Richard Stone, Chief Executive of the Association of Investment Companies (AIC), said: “In this testing half-year, investment company boards have been proactive and creative in looking for ways to deliver value for shareholders – whether that is through fee changes, mergers, manager changes or even proposing a wind-up of the company. Several strategic reviews are under way, pointing to the possibility of more corporate activity in the second half of the year.

“Investor sentiment has created a challenging backdrop for fundraising and driven discounts to unusually wide levels. Historically, times like these have often proven to be good times to buy, but we may see more volatility during the rest of 2023, especially if inflation remains high and interest rates continue to climb.”

- ENDS -

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Notes to editors

  1. The Association of Investment Companies (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 vision is for closed-ended investment companies to be considered by every investor. The AIC has 350 members and the industry has total assets of approximately £265 billion.
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