Investments 

Plug pulled on Godfrey's People’s Trust

Plug pulled on Godfrey's People’s Trust

The People’s investment trust, the venture of former Investment Association chairman Daniel Godfrey, will not now list on the stock market after management declared it “unviable.”

The People’s Trust was intended to launch on the stock market next week (17 October) and planned to raise £125m from investors.

The trust was to be a global multi-manager fund, with the asset allocation and manager selection undertaken by Willis Towers Watson.

But in a statement released this afternoon, one week prior to the original listing date, Mr Godfrey revealed the trust had not raised enough capital at this time to make it “viable”.

Mr Godfrey said: “There was every indication that had we achieved critical mass, The People’s Trust would have gone on to thrive. Disappointingly, this was not to be.

"Unfortunately, retail investor interest alone, whilst substantial, was not enough in the absence of sufficient additional support from institutional investors and discretionary wealth managers.”

While the investment trust generated much attention, there were skeptics who said the trust would be competing for capital with other, larger, trusts such as Witan and RIT, which invest in a similar way but have “proven track records.”

Those who have committed capital will receive a full refund.  

The original “founders” of the trust invested £100,000 to fund the launch of the trust.

Jason Hollands, managing director for business development at Tilney Group, said: "Getting this off the ground was always going to be a big ask.

"Despite many noble intentions, the approach to asset allocation wasn’t quite right for an investment that potentially would appeal as a 'one stop shop' for the small investor.

"With the exception of the social impact portfolio, all of the five major underlying portfolios were to be diced up equally between the selected managers.

"In practice this would have meant a niche area like clean energy getting as much prominence in the overall portfolio as Asia (ex. Japan), Global Equities or Europe -  a mix that most professional advisers would be unlikely recommend to a client were they constructing a portfolio."

david.thorpe@ft.com

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