The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has authorised investment manager Schroders to launch the UK's first Long-Term Asset Fund (LTAF).
LTAFs are regulated open-ended investment vehicles designed to invest in illiquid and private assets. The regulatory regime for LTAF came into force in October 2021.
Sarah Pritchard, executive director of supervision, policy and competition - markets at FCA, said the rules were created to produce an environment where investors that wish to invest in productive finance assets can "more easily do so".
Peter Harrison, group chief executive of Schroders, said LTAF would enable industries and firms to benefit from "big pools of long-term capital and, in turn, help long-term savers".
The ability to invest in illiquid assets through appropriately designed and managed investment vehicles is important for supporting economic growth and the transition to a low-carbon economy, the FCA said.
The regulator is undergoing discussion on improving the LTAF regime, and the final rules on broadening access to LTAFs are expected to be published in the first half of this year.
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