A commencement order for the Charities Act 2006 will allow charities north of the border and in Northern Ireland to invest in the same common investment funds currently used by third sector groups in England and Wales.
One such CIF is the Absolute Return Trust for Charities, a fund of hedge funds managed by investment firm Cazenove. It has £270m under management and delivers an 8 to 10 per cent net return over five years. It is authorised by the Charity Commission as the only fund of hedge funds in which charities are allowed to invest.
"The ARTC is a very effective way of investing in a fund of hedge funds," said John Gordon, director of charity client services at Cazenove.
Charities can invest in individual hedge funds, but smaller ones are unlikely to do so.