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Gartmore converting trust range into Oeics

Gartmore will convert its range of 46 unit trusts into four open-ended investment companies.

The conversion into Oeics starts on August 31 when it launches its Gart-more Investment Series I-IV, with dealing from September 2.

The first nine unit trusts to be switched to the series I Oeic are its China growth fund, Pacific growth fund, emerging market fund, the UK Techtornado and all five focus funds.

Conversion to the other three Oeics in the series is planned for around November 2002 and January and March next year.

Gartmore says Oeics offer more simplicity and transparency as there is a single price at which investors buy and sell shares. It says single-pricing helps with tax planning.

It says it will also be able to offer flexibility in issuing different classes of share within the same sub-fund of an Oeic.

Head of UK retail Paul Feeney says: “Some of the major unit trust providers have already converted their range of unit trusts into Oeics. Most of the world&#39s funds operate on this basis and therefore Oeics bring UK investments into line with other countries.”

Chelsea Financial Services managing director Darius McDermott says: “Gartmore is moving in the same direction as others like Investec and New Star. Part of the reason is to come into line with Europe and encourage European investors.”

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