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Sales of investment trusts hit a record high

Written by: Adam Lewis
2015 was a record year for the purchases of investment trusts by advisers and wealth managers according to latest research from the Association of Investment Companies.

Data compiled by Matrix Financial Clarity showed that adviser purchases of investment trusts increased 43% in 2015 over the previous year, hitting 686.9m, while they are 72% higher than in 2013 (£399.8m).

After the introduction of the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) at the start of 2013 it was generally expected that sales of investment trusts would increase. This was because the RDR levelled the playing field between investment trusts and their open-ended peers (OEICs) because advisers could no longer take commission from OEICs, something which they could never take from investment trusts.

Three years on, adviser purchases of investment trusts in 2015 were nearly triple that of the the 2012 pre-RDR level of £236.6m.

According to the AIC, while last year’s purchases of investment trusts were bolstered by the launch of the Woodford Patient Capital trust in April, it says it would have still been a strong year for sales without it. This is because omitting the second quarter all together, purchases for the other three quarters of 2015 were still up 17% on the same three quarters of 2014.

The sectors most bought in 2015 were Global (16%), UK Equity Income (12%), UK All Companies (10%), Property Direct – UK (9%) and Infrastructure (6%). Transact remained the most popular adviser platform, taking a 48% share of all investment trust purchases.

Ian Sayers, chief executive of the AIC, says: “It’s highly encouraging that adviser purchases of investment combine in 2015 are at record levels and have nearly tripled since before the RDR. It’s also really significant that the number of adviser firms using investment companies hit an all-time high.

“Demand for training remains high and we have now trained over 4,000 advisers. This year the AIC is running more adviser events than ever with 14 workshops starting in May and five fund manager seminars starting in September.”

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