Foreign & Colonial is to launch 10 unit trusts and concentrate on enhanced income and protected port...
Foreign & Colonial is to launch 10 unit trusts and concentrate on enhanced income and protected portfolios to build up its presence in the UK retail market, writes James Thorneley.
The group has a five year plan which will include an intense sales and marketing initiative to intermediaries.
Philip Childs, head of UK retail business at Foreign & Colonial, said the group did not want to offer 'me too' products such as a UK Growth unit trust but would instead concentrate on structured vehicles.
Over the past few years Foreign & Colonial has been building up a strong in-house derivatives team headed by Stephen Dolbear, manager of the £411.5m Higher Income Plan.
Until now the team has concentrated on designing and running product distributed by its German parent HypoVereinsbank's branch network. Higher Income Plan, which aims to generate an income 2% above UK base rates, is the group's largest unit trust.
At present Dolbear and his team are looking at different product ideas with the intention of launching a fund in the first quarter of next year. In the meantime Childs said he was going to review the group's existing unit trust range.
He said: "We currently offer four smaller company funds and we will probably need to reposition these to increase their popularity."
Foreign & Colonial has been given substantial funding from its parent company to undertake its planned expansion, according to Childs although he would not state the level of funding.
Childs is looking to recruit eight regional sales team members by Christmas to join the five existing members. He also plans to strengthen the group's broker support desk, and establish an online service centre.
The expanded sales team will focus on nationals and IFA networks, Childs added.
He said: "We are already a top 10 player in the investment trust market. We want to be the same in the unit trust market."
Partner Insight: For Blackfinch, the arrival of its IHT portfolio services was a 'natural evolution' in the group's offering and points to an established track record of returning cash to investors.
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