Thesis launches BPR product as IHT receipts soar


Thesis Asset Management has launched an Aim portfolio service as demand rises for inheritance tax solutions.

Business property relief (BPR) will be used to facilitate IHT relief and Thesis is already in discussions with platforms to extend the service early next year.

The portfolio launched on 1 November.

Managed by head of research Matthew Hoggarth, it will rebalance quarterly and hold a selection of 20-25 shares. In order to qualify for BPR the portfolio will avoid property and securities and dealing companies.

Thesis marketing and business development director Lawrence Cook tells Fund Strategy demand for IHT solutions has picked up markedly in the last 12 months.

“Inheritance tax seems to be going up and up and up.”

Receipts were £4.8bn in the most recent tax year, according to HMRC figures, doubling from the 2009/2010 tax year when they were £2.4bn.

“Bear in mind how asset values, including houses have increased over the last 10 years,” says Cook.

“Politically one would expect inheritance tax to not get anymore benign than it is, bearing in mind that the UK is still running at a deficit.”

Thesis had considered over the last two to three years partnering with an existing Aim provider, Cook says. “But we felt that our own expertise and research means that we can deliver it at a price that will be very attractive,” Cook says.

The portfolio is currently available to Thesis clients, but is expected to be added to Ascentric and 7IM in the “near future”, plus to other platforms based on demand.

“The most important thing is that we’re able to place trust and reliance on [the platform’s] ability to manage the portfolio within the BPR rules. If you end up investing in stocks that don’t qualify you’re going to end up with a disappointed client.”

Inheritance tax relief will be the motivating factor for investors, although growth companies also hold appeal, Cook reckons.

The portfolio management fee is 1.2 per cent plus VAT with no dealing costs or up front charges.