The following Financial Services practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
A unit trust is a type of collective investment scheme (CIS) in which the assets are held by a trustee for the benefit of the investors (the unitholders) pursuant to the terms of the a trust deed. CIS are defined in section 235 of Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA 2000). An authorised unit trust (AUT) is a unit trust scheme that is authorised under FSMA 2000, s 243 by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
AUT's may be formed as single funds or umbrella funds accommodating a number of sub-funds. There are three types of authorised fund available in the UK and an AUT can be used as the legal vehicle for each type of these funds:
undertakings for collective investment in transferable securities (UCITS)–available to the general public (see Practice Note: Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities—essentials)
Non-UCITS retail schemes (NURS)–available to the general public and a type of alternative investment fund (AIF) under the Alternative Investment Fund Managers (Directive 2011/61/EU) (AIFMD) (see Practice Note: Non-UCITS retail schemes (NURS))
Qualified investor schemes (QIS)–only available to professional or sophisticated investors and a type of AIF under the AIFMD (see Practice Note: Qualified investor schemes (QIS))
It should be noted that a property authorised investment fund (PAIF), cannot be established using an AUT. A PAIF
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