Prudential fund range shrinks from 33 to 23

Subject to approval, the £1.2m Prudential Balanced trust and £3.1m Prudential Income trust are to close. M&G felt that the funds were too small, had limited future investor demand, and there were no existing trusts in the range with a similar profile, into which the funds could be merged.

M&G has overall responsibility for the range of Prudential funds, but a number of funds are managed by other asset management companies. All of these trusts will be renamed or merged, and Merrill Lynch, Phillips & Drew and Schroders will no longer manage funds on behalf of Prudential.

Prudential began its rebranding exercise in 2001 and it was announced at the end of 2003 that M&G would rationalise the unit trust range. Scottish Amicable will no longer appear in any of the unit trusts’ names going forward.

Simon Anderson, director of corporate communications at M&G, says: “Once the process is finished, we will have a more simplified fund range that represents what our clients need. The rationalisation was primarily a housekeeping exercise that makes business sense.” He adds: “Fund mergers were only considered if the merging trusts had similar objectives.”

Unitholders in the two closing funds will be allowed to switch into any of the remaining 23 funds free of charge. If no preference is given by the investor, the default switch for the Prudential Balanced trust is the Prudential Distribution trust, and the default for the Prudential Income trust is the Prudential Corporate Bond trust.

M&G is in the process of sending letters out to intermediaries outlining details of the rationalisation. The trust mergers will be subject to unitholder approval.