Standard Life sees retail demand

The Scottish asset manager is offering private investors access to private equity funds at a time when similar products are enjoying mixed success.

Standard Life Investments, the Scottish asset manager that looks after £75bn of capital, believes now is a good time to offer retail investors access to private equity investment opportunities.

The group’s decision to launch an Individual Savings Account (ISA) investing in the Standard Life European Private Equity Trust Plc comes after news this week that London-based asset manager Gartmore has aborted a similar project in the face of poor investor demand.

Gartmore’s experience contrasts with other providers who have recently been able to secure significant commitments from individuals. Electra Kingsway VCT, which invests alongside Electra Partners, said earlier this week it had received more than £6m to date, outperforming any other generalist VCT that is currently open.

Alan Burton, a managing director of Standard Life Investments (Mutual Funds), said independent financial advisers had told the group that higher net worth clients were out there looking for tax-efficient products to add to their portfolios.