Merrill Lynch Investment Managers plans to launch a UK unit trust, based on its strong-performing Mo...
Merrill Lynch Investment Managers plans to launch a UK unit trust, based on its strong-performing Most United Kingdom fund, writes Jenne Mannion.
To be launched in November, subject to FSA approval, the fund will mirror the £248m frAA rated Most UK fund, which is part of the Mercury Offshore Sterling Trust umbrella domiciled in Luxembourg. That portfolio was launched in November 1986.
The name of the fund has not yet been decided. The onshore portfolio is to be managed by Peter Davis and the objective is to achieve long-term capital growth by investing primarily in a portfolio of shares of quoted UK companies. Most UK is in the first quartile in the UK offshore sector over three months, one year, three years and five years according to Standard & Poor's Micropal figures.
Over one year to 1 July Most UK returned 47.78% compared to the sector average of 6.4%, over three years it returned 123.3% above average returns of 42.7% and over five years it returned 222.2%, compared to the sector average of 101.1%.
Davis employs a bottom up investment approach in the Most UK Fund, which has benefited from its flexible investment style. There are no restrictions on the style so the manager has been able to outperform regardless of the economic climate.
While the charging of the onshore vehicle is not yet settled, minimum investment in Merrill Lynch unit trusts is typically £1,000 lump sum or £50 per month. Charges are generally 5% front end and 1.5% annual. On most Merrill Lynch portfolios IFAs are offered 3% front end commission and 0.5% renewal.
Meanwhile, Merrill Lynch has restructured its IFA service responsibilities. Previously, David Chapman, a member of the third party distribution team, headed by Mickey Morrissey, was responsible for servicing IFA networks. That responsibility has now been delegated to regional representatives where the IFA networks are based.
Adrian Wright, head of IFA sales, said: "As our relationships with networks have increased, we felt it appropriate to strengthen our local support."
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