Alliance Trust shifts domicile ahead of Brexit

UK exit from the EU has mostly affected open-ended domiciles


Alliance Trust is shifting its domicile from Ireland to the UK ahead of Brexit following in the footsteps of the billions of pounds worth of open-ended funds that have switched domiciles in recent years.

Towers Watson will remain the alternative investment fund manager (AIFM) but the trust will be shifted from the Irish to the UK unit. That would keep legal costs incurred by the trust to a minimum, a spokesperson said.

A regulatory filing said the change is to avoid Brexit complications that could have arisen due to the original AIFM being based in Ireland.

“It does not affect the way Alliance Trust’s assets are managed,” the filing said.

There are no trading costs associated with the change and no change in the fees payable by the trust, a spokesperson confirmed.

EU-domiciled investment companies

Alliance Trust is one of the few examples of a European-domiciled investment company, according to the Association of Investment Companies.

The £548m Greencoat Renewables and £26m Carador Income trusts are the only other examples of investment companies domiciled in Ireland. The £1bn BBGI Sicav, an infrastructure closed-ended fund, is domiciled in Luxembourg.

Changes to fund domicile have been much more significant in the open-ended space with asset managers having transferred £65bn from the UK to the EU by March this year.

In May 2018, M&G Investments announced it was transferring £34.2bn worth of assets based non-sterling share classes of 21 UK-domiciled Oeics to Luxembourg. A week earlier, Columbia Threadneedle had announced it was launching 13 Sicav versions of existing Oeics and transferring European clients in a further seven UK-domiciled funds to existing Luxembourg-domiciled counterparts.

In January, Crux revealed it was stepping up its Brexit planning and switching Sicav feeders into directly invested funds with Rathbones making the same step the following month. Fundsmith has also shifted £2.3bn of assets into Sicavs.


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