Ex-Investment Association head Daniel Godfrey's pulls People's Trust listing after big investors shy away from fundraising

Jasper Jolly
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Daniel Godfrey was formerly head of the Investment Association

An investment trust run by the former head of the Investment Association has stopped its attempt to list on the London Stock Exchange after failing to gain support of big institutional investors.

Daniel Godfrey had launched The People’s Trust with the aim of making a “positive impact on society”, but he announced today that the £125m flotation had failed.

Godfrey said there was “substantial” interest from retail investors, but said there was “not enough in the absence of sufficient additional support from institutional investors and discretionary wealth managers”.

Read more: Godfrey’s exit raises questions for funds

The trust will return all money to investors who had subscribed for the share offer, it announced.

Godfrey had aimed to shake up the investment trust industry, following a stint as head of the Investment Association which ended in October 2015 with his ouster following outspoken views on fees and transparency to which investment companies objected.

He was forced out when investors including M&G Investments and Schroders withdrew their support from the association, with other big hitters among the membership – which manages around £5.5 trillion – considering withdrawing from the lobby group.

Godfrey said: “It’s always hard to break the mould. While we have not succeeded on this occasion, the case we have made for a fundamental change in the investment chain has definitely left some cracks.”

The trust was started with the intention of trying to focus on long-term returns rather than relative performance against benchmarks. Godfrey initially crowdfunded £100,000 to cover start-up costs, receiving the initial support of 2,500 people.

The trust would have targeted seven per cent annual returns over a seven-year period, a longer timeframe than usual for the portfolio managers contracted. It also would have allocated one per cent of its portfolio to social impact investing, with lower returns but high social value.

The non-executive directors were set to waive all fees and Godfrey would have given up half his salary for two years.

Read more: Investment Association could become less consumer friendly

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