BlackRock set for US trust float despite tough market for IPOs

Michael Bow
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BLACKROCK, the world’s biggest fund manager, yesterday unveiled plans to float a US-based investment trust in London next month, as investors seek to capitalise on strong S&P 500 performance.

The fund manager, which runs $3.35trn (£2.11trn) for clients globally, will seek a premium listing on the London Stock Exchange when the trust has its IPO in October.

The fund, expected to raise in excess of £100m, will be run from New York and invest in large US listed companies which focus on high dividend growth.

Investors will be looking to tap strong performance from the S&P 500. The index is more than 11 per cent in the year to date versus a seven per cent increase from the FTSE.

The fund will be led by former Merrill Lynch Investment Managers stalwarts Bob Shearer and Kathleen Anderson, who both joined BlackRock when the two houses merged in 2006.

However, the venture, called the BlackRock North American Income Trust, will be launching in a tough market for investment trust floats. In July, the IPO of the F&C Barrow Hanley US Trust was pulled after it failed to raise the £50m it was seeking – and the BlackRock trust is aiming for double this amount.