Newton to close common investment fund for charities

The investment management company says CIFs are likely to become outdated vehicles for investment

Financial advice: Newton says CIFs will become outdated
Financial advice: Newton says CIFs will become outdated

The investment management company Newton is closing its common investment fund for charities because it expects the vehicle to become a "relatively outdated investment structure".

CIFs are collective charity investment funds that only charities can take part in.

Newton said its CIF, called the Global Growth & Income Fund for Charities, would be closed, with unit holders in the fund being offered the opportunity to exchange their units for those in a new unit trust vehicle aimed at the voluntary sector, which will be launched on 9 May.

The CIF was worth £377m at the end of 2013, Newton said.

A Newton spokeswoman said the streamlining of its charity investment funds was given momentum by the recent decision of the Charity Commission that it would not, except in exceptional circumstances, establish any new common investment funds.

"The Charity Commission anticipates that, moving forward, many new investment funds established for the charity sector will be established as Financial Conduct Authority-authorised schemes," she said.

"As a result of the commission’s stance, it is likely that over time common investment funds will become a relatively outdated investment structure."

The regulation of CIFs is changing as the result of a European Union directive called the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive. The commission last year introduced two new model schemes for setting up CIFs, in preparation for the change, which will happen in July.

Alan Goodwin, head of charity and institutional account management at Newton, said: "The Newton Global Growth & Income Fund for Charities is designed to build on the legacy of its predecessor, providing a smooth transition into the new regulatory environment while retaining key features and aims. Our charity-specific funds reflect our commitment to providing the right solutions for our current and prospective clients".

A spokeswoman for the Charity Commission said that it would publish new guidance on CIFs in June, before the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive came into force in July.

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