The new investment trusts waiting in the wings

Smithson, the brain child of Terry Smith, will make its stock market debut at the end of next week. The trust will soon be joined by four other new investment trust launches.  

The third quarter saw a marked improvement in activity for investment trust launches and the signs are that the last three months of the year will be a busy affair.

Four new investment trusts, in addition to Smithson IT, have announced their intentions to launch in the coming months, including Richard Buxton’s fund firm, Merian Global Investors, which has been rebranded following its split from Old Mutual. Merian Chrysalis, which plans to raise £200 million, will invest primarily in unlisted companies. It will not be managed by Buxton, however. Instead two of his former Old Mutual colleagues will take the lead: Richard Watts and Nick Williamson, who also manage mid- and small-cap equity funds.

M&G has targeted £250 million for a new investment trust, M&G Credit Income, that will invest in public and private debt, with an emphasis on the latter. Its remit will include investing in asset-backed securities, commercial mortgages, infrastructure-related debt assets, as well as direct lending to small and mid-sized companies.

Elsewhere, Aberdeen Standard Investments has been appointed as manager of a new private-equity focused sustainable investment trust: the Global Sustainability Trust (or GST). As the name suggests the trust will invest in companies that have ‘a positive environmental and social impact.’ It will do so through backing private companies, but those not yet listed on public markets. GST hopes to raise approximately around £200 million on launch.

Finally, Gresham House is launching a renewable energy investment trust. It is also looking to raise £200 million, but rather than directly appealing to retail investors it is instead targeting institutional and high new worth investors.

Year-to-date, to the start of October, there have been 12 new investment trust launches, raising a total of £1.4 billion. Notable new issues include Baillie Gifford US GrowthJPMorgan Multi-Asset and Tritax Eurobox.  

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