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F&C is set to boost investment trusts

F&C Asset Management is considering setting up more investment trusts and expanding its direct-to-consumer offering.

F&C says its research suggests that after the RDR a significant proportion of individuals with £25,000 to £200,000 of investable assets will self-direct rather than use an adviser. It is planning to invest in the investment trust business with new funds and is looking at launching an equity investment trust.

It is also considering introducing a directly marketed multi-manager and multi-asset range for distribution through its direct-to-consumer infrastructure.

The firm is planning to increase its distribution focus on property funds and will add products and improve service for its multi-manager offering for IFAs. The focus on property funds will include more distribution through consumer channels and developing a pan-European product.

F&C says it is on track to meet cost-cutting targets of £33.2m by 2013 and has introduced a share-based compensation plan for senior man agement.

Executive chairman Edward Bramson says: “We see significant strengths in our consumer business and believe we are uniquely positioned in the new regime after the RDR.

“The new strategies will create strong financial returns for shareholders and our new compensation structure directly aligns management’s interests to this result.”

Chelsea Financial Services managing director Darius McDermott says: “It makes sense to add to the investment trust range, given the expected increase in uptake after the RDR. It will be interesting to see how F&C prices direct-to-consumer multi-manager and multi-asset products as it will not want to undercut the price IFAs, who have supported its multi-manager range in the past, have paid.”

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