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Hargreaves eyes better disclosure with low-cost fund launch

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Hargreaves Lansdown is launching a range of in-house, low-cost equity funds in to a bid to step up the dialogue between fund managers and investors.

The first in the range, the HL Select UK Shares fund, launches on 1 December and will be run by Steve Clayton. The fund will sit in the IA UK All Companies sector and will be a best ideas portfolio of around 30 holdings.

Hargreaves says investors will be able to see a breakdown of every shareholding, detailed explanations behind the fund’s holdings, and monthly portfolio performance reports.

The investment manager, which already has a £7bn multi-manager fund range, hopes the new suite of funds will make it easier for investors to communicate with the fund managers.

Clayton says: “Investing shouldn’t be a black art, understood by the few, nor should it be a black box, where you just take what you’re given without understanding why.

“We want our investors to really understand what is happening to their money, and why their fund manager bought and sold the stocks they did. HL Select UK Shares investors will be told why we hold the shares we do. And when we change the portfolio, we’ll explain what’s moved in and out, and why we did it.”

The fund will invest in companies “with exceptional products and services” that should prosper in any economic environment.

He says: “Almost 30 years investment industry experience has taught me that if you can invest in high quality growth businesses, that can compound their earnings year after year, it has potential to create enormous value. This fund‘s portfolio will be run with that differentiated philosophy in mind, focusing on companies strong enough to be in charge of their own destiny. The potential for sustainable long term growth is our main objective.”

Hargreaves Lansdown is also hoping to attract investors through competitive pricing.

The HL Select UK Shares fund has a £1 fixed launch price for applications before the 30 November. Investors will be able to access the fund with a lump sum of £100 or £25 per month.

With an ongoing charge figure of 0.6 per cent, the firm claims the fund is “cheaper than 90 per cent of active funds in the IA All Companies sector”. A Vantage platform fee of up to 0.45 per cent will also apply.

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