Industry Updates

Investment Association to create eight sectors following arrival of ETFs

The IA's 59 sector categories house more than 4,100 funds

Jamie Gordon


Eight new sectors will be created from the Investment Association’s (IA) Global and Specialist sector categories, signalling further acceptance of the ETF wrapper by mainstream bodies.

At present, the two sectors are among the largest within the IA’s classifications, claiming 465 funds and 329 products, respectively.

The IA said the creation of the new sectors reflects the growth and evolution of the retail fund market and will affect around 150 funds from the two sectors. The new additions will see the number of IA sectors increase from 51 to 59, housing more than 4,100 funds.

The eight new sectors include new country-regional equity sectors covering Latin America, India/Indian Subcontinent and Global Smaller Companies; industry sectors covering Financials and Financial Innovation, and Healthcare; and alternative investment approaches incorporating Infrastructure, Gold and Precious Metals and Commodity/Natural Resources.

The decision to add more constituents to its sector classifications follows industry and consumer consultation, with the aim of making it easier for savers and investors to compare the ETFs on the market

It also comes after the organisation’s decision in April to add 530 ETFs to its sector categories, which was a breakthrough moment in terms of the product class’s mainstream acceptance but received criticism for excluding a large number of thematic and specialist exposure launches in recent years.

Miranda Seath, head of market insight at the IA said: “As the retail funds market in the UK evolves, so too do our sectors.

“The inclusion of ETFs in our sectors has been a good opportunity to review the future of two of our largest sectors, IA Global and IA Specialist.

“The eight new sectors have the ambition to support the long-term financial aims of the investors they serve and each includes a meaningful number of funds with similar investment objectives – helping savers and their advisers to better navigate and compare the funds on offer in the UK.”

Industry members will hope the IA continues expanding the roster of ETFs included within its sectors.

This recent development appears to signal a clear direction of travel for ETF adoption in the UK, with former Aberdeen Asset Management CEO Martin Gilbert stating at ETF Stream’sETF Ecosystem Unwrapped event that one of his biggest regrets while at the helm was not launching an ETF arm.

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