Investment trust assets exceed £200bn for first time

Baillie Gifford

Assets in UK investment trusts have exceeded £200 billion for the first time, reaching a record £200.3 billion on July 31, 2019, according to the Association of Investment Companies (AIC).

Assets at listed investment trust companies have doubled in the last six and a half years, having reached £100 billion at the end of January 2013.

About 46% of the growth over that period has come from investment companies investing in “alternative” assets including property and infrastructure, which had £80.3 billion under management on July 31, 2019, up from £34.7 billion on January 31, 2013 –representing growth of 132%.

Ian Sayers, AIC chief executive, said: “It’s good news that the investment company industry is growing strongly, reaching a record £200 billion of assets at the end of July.

“This growth demonstrates the adaptability of investment companies, which have been helping investors meet their financial needs for more than 150 years. 

“It reflects growth in mainstream investment companies which are investing in cutting-edge opportunities such as technology, healthcare, frontier markets and venture capital.

“As investment companies are the natural home for illiquid assets, it is not surprising that a significant part of this growth has been in the alternative sectors, which are often invested in assets that are harder to sell such as property and infrastructure.

“Investment companies’ income advantages have also come to the fore in the current low interest rate environment.

“Many investment companies have increased their dividends for decades, making them highly sought after in recent years.”

The AIC represents a broad range of closed-ended investment companies, incorporating investment trusts and other closed-ended investment companies. It has 359 members.