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Press Release

Tuesday 23 March 2010

IMA ANNOUNCES ADMITTANCE OF OFFSHORE FUNDS TO IMA SECTORS

The Investment Management Association (IMA) is to include offshore funds in its sector classification system beginning 1 April 2010.

The IMA received admission requests from 180 funds in the first phase. 71 have been admitted. 89 are pending, awaiting the finalisation of required data from the funds. Other funds were not eligible for inclusion in the IMA sectors; only funds which meet the specified criteria and have submitted all the required information may be included.

IMA will shortly launch a call for submissions to the second phase of entry for offshore funds. A third phase is anticipated in the last quarter of 2010.

The offshore funds will be fully integrated in to the existing sector classification system, allowing comparisons between funds to be made on a like for like basis. However, the IMA will flag which funds are offshore so that investors and IFAs may search for this data if they so require.

Commenting, Jane Lowe, Director of Markets at the IMA, said:

"The UCITS passport is intended to make cross-border funds available to investors in all European countries. The inclusion of offshore funds into IMA sectors is a natural evolution for our classification system and takes account of the intended flexibility for distributing European funds. The change should make a wider choice of funds available to investors and allow offshore fund providers to market their funds on an equal footing to UK domiciled funds."

A consumer factsheet on offshore funds in IMA sectors can be viewed here

-ENDS-

Notes to the Editor

1. A list of the offshore funds which are to be included in the IMA sectors as of 1 April can be viewed here:

2. In order for offshore funds to be included in the IMA sectors, the Fund Provider must decide which of their funds, in particular which share class, they would like to have included in the IMA Sector tables. The chosen share class must:

a. Have Distributor Status or, once the new Reporting Fund rules are introduced, take Reporting Fund status under the new rules

b. Be a UCITS, registered for sale in the UK (eligibility may be extended at a later date)

c. Be appropriate for UK domiciled retail clients, for example by offering:

  •  
    • The sterling share class if there is one
    • Otherwise a share class that is hedged back into sterling
    • Or, if there is neither of these available, another currency that is appropriate to the assets of the fund

d. The currency of the chosen share class must be entirely unambiguous to the investor.

3. Offshore funds will be flagged on the IMA website. This information is provided to the data vendors who we understand will flag the information in their performance league tables and include a note which will warn investors of the differences in regulation and taxation and link them to the IMA fact sheet.

4. Offshore fund statistics will be available to view in IMA's monthly statistics from the publication of the April 2010 data. For the purposes of IMA monthly statistical reports on assets and sales of funds, offshore fund providers may choose not to be classified to an IMA sector - in this case the data will be shown under the heading Offshore Unclassified.

5. The IMA is the trade body for the UK's £3 trillion asset management industry. The money its members manage is in a wide variety of investment vehicles including authorised investment funds, pension funds and stocks and shares ISAs. Its role is to represent the industry and promote high standards.

For further information, please contact:

Sally Biggs, Director, Polhill Communications, 020 7655 0520
Noreen Shah, Press Officer, IMA, 020 7831 0898
Ginny Broad, Head of Communications, IMA, 020 7831 0898 or 07834 089332

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