This is not substantive investment research or a research recommendation, as it does not constitute substantive research or analysis. This material should be considered as general market commentary.
This spring the Association of Investment Companies (AIC) overhauled its sector classifications, adding 13 new sectors and renaming 15 others. This decision was made in an attempt to more accurately reflect the shape of the industry, and help offer investors greater clarity when comparing peers.
Several of the changes came in the alternative asset spaces and these are very welcome. Alternative assets have been an area of increased popularity in recent years, making a rationalisation of the sector definitions valuable. The amount of money invested by investment companies in alternative assets has grown by 92% over the past five years, rising from £39.5 billion in 2014 to £75.9 billion in 2019 (as of 8 May 2019). There have also been significant, and sensible, changes to the way Asia-focused trusts have been classified.
In this research we take a look at these new sectors and the broader changes which have taken place, identifying the trusts which now stand out in their new peer groups. We also explain where we think the sector classification system may still be leading investors astray, and consider the case for a slightly different set of divisions.
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