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FundsNetwork unveils trust and ETP line-up

FundsNetwork unveils trust and ETP line-up

FundsNetwork has unveiled its new range of investment trusts and exchange-traded products, fulfilling a pledge to break ranks from competitors and host third-party investment trusts.

The Fidelity-owned fund supermarket has made 54 investment trusts and 76 ETPs available to clients through a number of wrappers.

These include a range of leading providers, including: Aberdeen Asset Management, Baillie Gifford and JPMorgan Asset Management, as well as the five investment trusts from Fidelity.

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FundsNetwork has also extended its range of exchange traded funds and exchange traded commodities with the addition of ETF Securities, HSBC, iShares and Vanguard.

Pat Shea, head of FundsNetwork, said: “This initiative demonstrates our ongoing commitment to invest in the platform to meet the evolving needs of our advisers, helping them provide additional diversification for client portfolios.”

The extended range has been fully integrated with the existing range of services and is available in the FundsNetwork Pension, Isa and Investment Fund Accounts.

This move marked a clear break from fund supermarket rivals Cofunds and Old Mutual Wealth, which have maintained there is low demand among clients for ETFs and investment trusts.

Cofunds claimed demand for ETFs and investment trusts was still very low, with less than 3 per cent of platform assets under administration being typical via these investment types.

Old Mutual Wealth took a similar stance on the importance of third party investment, though they did concede that this outlook may change.

However Ian Sayers, chief executive of the Association of Investment Companies, argued the demand for investment trusts has increased from both private investors and advisers, meaning FundNetwork’s additions represent a step in the right direction.

“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,” he added.

Jaskarn Pawar, a financial adviser with Northampton-based Investor Profile, said: “Investment trusts are an important consideration in any investment strategy but it comes down to the individual adviser and whether they have a preference for them or not.

“Our own view is that we don’t use investment trusts because they have a slightly different nature to unit trusts and Oeics, which make them slightly more complicated.”