FundsNetwork adds investment trusts & ETFs next month

FundsNetwork adds investment trusts & ETFs next month

FundsNetwork has confirmed from early December it will offer a broad range of the most popular investment trusts and exchange traded products on the platform.

It is set to offer advisory firms and their clients’ integrated access to investment trusts from providers including Aberdeen, Baillie Gifford, Invesco Perpetual and JPMorgan Asset Management, as well as the five investment trusts from Fidelity.

It will also extend its range of ETPs on offer, comprising of a selection of exchange traded funds and exchange traded commodities available in the UK from the likes of ETF Securities, HSBC, iShares and Vanguard.

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Both will be fully integrated with the existing range of services and available in the Isa, Investment Fund Account and the FundsNetwork Pension.

The new range can be accessed at the exiting standard service fee of 0.25 per cent and annual investor fee, for new purchases, of £45. There will also be a 0.10 per cent dealing fee.

Back in February, FundsNetwork revealed it was planning to break ranks with its other ‘fund supermarket’ rivals Cofunds and Old Mutual Wealth to host third-party investment trusts as it moved to bring Neil Woodford’s new vehicle onto the platform.

In July a spokesman added: “We are significantly enhancing our platform capability, which will include the addition of investment trusts and exchange traded funds from a range of other providers... it is our clear intention to build a scalable solution to support a wider range of both investment trusts and also ETFs.”

Pat Shea, head of FundsNetwork, explained that they have seen demand for investment trusts and ETPs grow steadily since the implementation of the Retail Distribution Review.

“Our plan to launch a range of investment trusts and broaden the number of ETPs on FundsNetwork later this year sees us responding to this demand and demonstrates our clear intention to support the evolving needs of advisory firms and their clients.”

Ian Sayers, chief executive of the Association of Investment Companies, agreed demand has increased from both private investors and advisers.

“Since RDR, adviser platform purchases have trebled to approximately £600m a year and the number of advisory firms recommending investment companies has more than doubled to over 1,000.”

Simon Crinage, head of investment trusts at JPMorgan Asset Management, added that the more platforms investment trusts are available on, the more choice investors have.

“It’s been encouraging to see an increasing number of advisers embracing the benefits that investment trusts have to offer following the introduction of the RDR nearly three years ago.”

Responding to previous criticism around lack of ETF access on larger platforms, FundsNetwork said in June that it offered a selection of 50 physically-backed ETFs from iShares, ETF Securities and HSBC.

At the time, a spokesman added: “We have not seen a huge demand for ETF products via the platform to date, but we believe that they can play an important part in the financial planning and investment process for many advisers.”