The "flurry of activity" in the listed investment company (LIC) market in the past 12 months has not fazed the Australian Foundation Investment Company (AFIC).
Speaking at the AIOFP conference in Shanghai this week, AFIC general manager, business development and investor relations, Geoff Driver, said the increased competition in the LIC space is actually a good thing for the sector’s early movers and pioneers.
“Last time we had such a flurry of activity was 2004,” Mr Driver said, reflecting on high-profile launches such as the Perpetual Equity Investment Company.
“Ultimately I think it is good for the sector. Many years ago, when it was only us and a few others [in the LIC market] it was sort of like a secret society. [But] now there is much greater knowledge of them and much more discussion.”
Mr Driver said that the rise in AFIC’s shareholder numbers in recent years is likely to have been aided by the greater exposure afforded by prominent fund managers entering the LIC market.
He suggested a desire to attain more self-managed superannuants lay behind an increase in product launches.
“I think some of these fund managers are not necessarily seeing the fund flows they would like from the self-directed investor,” Mr Driver said.
“I know in the case of Perpetual that trying to get more SMSF clients was a major reason behind the [LIC] launch, they were trying to reach investors that don’t necessarily use an adviser or only see one only so often.”
AFIC is one of a number of Australian companies taking part in the inaugural Australian Food, Wine and Investment Expo in Shanghai.