By Adam Lewis The AITC has written to the boards of its member trusts to try and gauge their inte...
By Adam Lewis
The AITC has written to the boards of its member trusts to try and gauge their interest in the proposed third-wave of funding for the industry's 'its' campaign.
Director general of the AITC Daniel Godfrey originally put forward his plans in March which included introducing a compulsory levy on all members.
This would consist of one basis point of gross assets to finance the continuing generic marketing programme and a further 0.5 of a basis point to be spent on continuing the programme of IFA education and awareness run by Jeff Procter, which includes forums and workshops. This would also cover internet developments, a high level PR programme and a maintenance of the present infrastructure.
These compulsory levies, which equate to a maximum of 1.5 basis points a year, equivalent to £15,000 for a £100m company, would replace the existing voluntary levy that is based on sector, size and the discount a trust is trading at on any particular day.
The boards of the trusts have until 8 June 2001 to consider these proposals, and answer whether the compulsory levies are workable or not.
Andrew Watkins, director of investment trusts at Jupiter, said that it is difficult to judge at the moment whether the boards will accept the proposals.
He added: "It is too early to tell. There is a lot of sympathy in the industry for what Godfrey is trying to do, however there are also a lot of boards who believe the programme is not doing enough at the moment, and they won't like the compulsory levy.
"Speaking for the whole industry, the industry needs to continue the generic programme, however I would like to see the money spent in a more productive manner. Building a brand takes more than three years, so I hope Godfrey is successful."
Five of the seven Jupiter investment trusts are members of the AITC, the boards of which in the past have not supported the 'its' campaign. Watkins said that four of these five trusts are split-caps and have felt that they did not need to be part of the generic marketing campaign, because of their different nature to ordinary investment trusts.
The AITC has also said it is considering ring-fencing the money contributed by split-caps. By doing this, the AITC believes it can provide a separate education programme and hence promote them more effectively.
If the AITC gets its third-wave of funding it has said it will drop the TV advertising, as it believes that part of the campaign has already served its purpose.
The trade body now believes it has to drive for greater education on and understanding of investment trusts. If it achieves it funding goal it will look to further these plans via direct marketing and press-based posters.
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