PEER-TO-PEER and alternative finance-focused investment trusts will be categorised differently by the Association of Investment Companies (AIC) as part of an overhaul of the trade body’s investment company sectors.
The AIC is making the changes following a year-long review and says the new categories are more reflective of “the shape of the industry today”.
It has decided to separate the Sector Specialist: Debt category into three sub-segments. From 28 May, there will be three specialist debt categories: Debt – Direct Lending, Debt – Loans & Bonds and Debt – Structured Finance.
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This means funds such as P2P Global Investments, VPC Specialty Lending, the Funding Circle SME Income Fund and the Honeycomb Investment trust will move into the direct lending sector.
Similarly, companies in the Property Direct – UK and Property Specialist sectors have been reclassified as Property – UK Commercial, Property – UK Healthcare, Property – UK Residential or Property – Debt.
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“We undertook this review to ensure that investment company sectors accurately reflect the shape of the industry today,” Ian Sayers, chief executive of the AIC, said.
“Recent years have seen significant growth in investment companies investing in alternative assets, such as property, debt and infrastructure and the emergence of new asset classes such as leasing and royalties.
“Our new sectors allow investors to find and compare companies with similar characteristics easily. I’m confident the new sectors will play a useful role in helping inform investors’ decisions.”
The amount of money invested by investment companies in alternative assets has grown by 92 per cent over the past five years, according to the AIC, rising from £39.5bn in 2014 to £75.9bn in 2019.