Fund houses with substantial offshore offerings are building up the profile of the portfolios in the UK retail market ahead of the IMA's introduction of offshore listings.
Industry insiders expected the offshore listings to be in place by the end of last year, but there is currently no set timetable. The plan is for the funds to be intergrated into the IMA sectors.
To prepare for the listings fund houses have started making their offshore funds more widely available to UK advisers.
Cofunds recently added HSBC's four-strong Luxembourg-based fund range to the platform and announced plans to add four new SICAV ranges in the coming months.
Andy Clark, HSBC managing director, sells more SICAVs in the UK than OEICs.
He says: "The best funds are not just in the UK. The IMA is thinking of putting SICAVs in the performance tables this quarter and this will ensure private clients and IFAs can access the data.
"We asked ourselves, if people want the choice, how can they access the funds? It is a lot easier on platforms and I think listing the SICAVs could be the start of something quite big - it is a strategic change.
"We are continuing to discuss this with other fund supermarkets but they are not ready. There are other fund houses that have great ranges but can't sell them - I think other groups might follow us."
Barings marketing director Ian Pascal revealed the group is in talks with Cofunds about adding its 23 SICAV-like Dublin-based funds.
He says: "The simple reason we have not done this already is that Cofunds has not been taking them on in any volume. But we're talking about it and are sure we will be adding more in the next few months.
"IMA offshore sectors will help - we have always promoted the offshore funds into the UK but they will have more visibility and will certainly benefit Barings. Currently the big barrier is visibility."
Meanwhile Franklin Templeton - which currently has nine SICAVs on Cofunds - is in talks with IFAs and platforms about its offshore offerings.
Sales and marketing director Jamie Hammond says: "We were very early in offering sterling distribution share classes to UK clients but for a wider IFA audience we need a supermarket. IFAs are more open to looking offshore and if they were more widely available they would select them more.
"Our strategy is to look at the interest in our SICAV range and to make it more tax friendly. Platforms and wraps that can address tax issues will have the edge. I do believe more platforms will offer access to offshore funds. We will be talking to IFAs about the offshore range and the feedback will define what we do going forward."
While Cofunds is actively adding SICAVs to its range, other fund supermarkets including FundsNetwork and Skandia are taking a more passive stance.
The former is taking a wait-and-see approach dependent on adviser demand while the latter is focusing on expanding its investment range rather than accessing offshore vehicles.
Peter Hicks, Fidelity's head of IFA channel, says: "We have always thought offshore funds played a part in investment and that has not changed. But they tend to be more used by wealth managers and asset managers than non-discretionary IFAs. I think this will change, but we're not seeing a huge sea change yet.
"The IMA including offshore stats will change things as it is a lot to do with visibility, but I don't think it will change quickly. We have some offshore funds on FundsNetwork - all the Fidelity range and some Schroders funds - and if a significant number of advisers asked us to put other funds on the platform we could do," he adds.
Meanwhile, Skandia says its focus is on providing access to a wide range of funds irrespective of the offshore status. The platform provider is in the process of adding eight Pictet funds.
Spokesman Charlie Musson says: "We already have around 30 offshore funds on our platform and will be adding more. The key for advisers is to assess whether the fund demonstrates value and whether or not it is offshore makes no difference as long as it meets clients' needs.
"We have no issues with adding offshore funds as long as they meet our dealing times and infrastructure. We are seeing an increase in demand for these funds and we'll certainly add more if there is the demand for the funds and we can meet clients' investment objectives."
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