Investment Trusts Leave Fuddy-Duddy Image Behind

Investment trust boards have oft been berated for being stuck in the dark ages and slow to adapt, but a considerable uptick in female board members shows change is afoot

Jackie Beard, FCSI 26 November, 2014 | 11:25AM
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Both leading up to and following the introduction of the Retail Distribution Review in January 2013, there was wide speculation on the scale of impact it would have on investment trusts. While it was acknowledged to be a clear levelling of the playing field in that independent financial advice must pro-actively include investment trusts in advisers’ considerations, there was a fair amount of cynicism over the extent to which this would happen.

However, one evolution that we have seen among investment companies is that of diversification on investment company boards—unexpected but welcome progress.

There are currently some 1,600 non-executive directorships on UK-listed investment company boards, of which nearly 230 roles are held by women—more than 10% of those are in the role of chairmen, too. That’s some 14% overall right now and I’d argue it’s come a long way for an industry that was referred to not so long ago as being full of ‘fuddy-duddies.’

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About Author

Jackie Beard, FCSI

Jackie Beard, FCSI  is Director of Manager Research Services, Morningstar EMEA