The Effect of Organisational Form on Investment Products: an empirical analysis of the UK unit trust industry


*The Business School, Loughborough University, Ashby Road, Loughborough, Leicestershire LE11 3TU. E-mail:


The mutual versus plc debate has now branched out to include discussion of the potential benefits to consumers from alternative organisational forms. This paper investigates whether performance, risk and fee levels differ across mutual and plc ownership groups in the UK unit trust industry. To this end, this paper uses monthly time-series data for UK unit trusts industry for the years 2000 to 2005 and compares recorded performance from a consumer perspective by organisational form. The paper finds some difference between the two organisational groups with respect to the annual management fee charged and risk-exposures, which seem to affect returns of their unit trusts. Consistent with recent studies, such results suggest that diversity of organisational form fosters product variations across UK investment products.