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BMO kills off F&C brand for open-ended funds

BMO kills off F&C brand for open-ended funds

One of the oldest investment brands in the City will soon be virtually extinct as BMO Global Asset Management announced plans to change the name of the F&C range of open-ended funds to BMO.

BMO bought the F&C funds business back in 2014, and created the BMO Global Asset Management business in 2015, but left the names of individual funds unchanged.

But this morning (12 July), the company confirmed it will rename the open-ended fund range BMO, discarding the F&C brand.

The investment trusts managed by the company have independent boards of directors and it will be the decision of those boards whether they wish to retain the F&C name on the products.

There are 11 investment trusts run under the F&C name.

Philip Rose founded what was then known as the Foreign & Colonial investment trust alongside barrister Samuel Laing, and Mr Laing's business partner James Thompson Mackenzie, who was also deputy chairman of the East Bengal Railway.

With the backing of influential politician Lord Westbury, F&C's investment trust was launched on 19 March 1868.

At the end of 2017, F&C investment trust had total assets of £4bn, diversified across global holdings from over 30 different countries.

David Logan, head of distribution at BMO Global Asset Management, said: "Clients increasingly look for strong international investment solution providers and our goal has always been to provide effortless access to investment solutions for our clients.

"Having more of our global and local capabilities under a single brand helps us to deliver on that as well as further simplifying the way we communicate with clients across all of our regions.

"The investment we have made in the business and the BMO Global Asset Management brand in Europe, the Middle East and Africa over the past three years provides us with a solid platform from which to take another step towards our unified brand ambition, as we continue our growth in the UK, EMEA and globally."

Darius McDermott, managing director of Chelsea Financial Services, said he "wouldn't be surprised" if the investment trusts chose to retain the current brand name, as it is one of the oldest in the City.

david.thorpe@ft.com