Schroder investment fund attracts 40,000 applicants

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The Independent Online
SCHRODER Investment Management has received more than 40,000 expressions of interest in its Schroder UK Growth Fund, an investment trust formally launched yesterday, writes Paul Durman.

Peter Sedgwick, chief executive of Schroders' investment arm and chairman of the new trust, expects to raise at least pounds 100m. He does not anticipate any adverse impact from the sharp stock market falls on Monday.

'We are rather pleased that some of the froth has been taken out of the market,' Mr Sedgwick said. 'What happened over the weekend has just calmed people down a little bit.'

The trust will have a maximum size of pounds 250m. Schroders does not expect to match the huge sums recently raised by Mercury World Mining Trust and by the two European privatisation trusts from Mercury and Kleinwort Benson.

Mr Sedgwick said: 'They have obviously struck a chord, particularly with the private and smaller institutional investor. These things have a one-off, specialist theme that has captured the investors' imagination in a big way.'

Schroder UK Growth is aimed at private investors. It will seek capital growth by investing in 40 to 50 UK shares, making it suitable for personal equity plans.

The investment policy will be the same as Schroder uses to manage its highly successful UK Enterprise unit trust, which has nearly tripled in value since its launch in 1988.

Mr Sedgwick does not expect a repeat of such high returns in future, reflecting the lower inflation and interest rate environment.

The trust is offered with one warrant for every five shares. Applications must be made by 2 March. Dealings will begin on 10 March.