The September issue of Insight adds another chapter to our ongoing coverage of closed-end funds—also referred to as structured products. This product category includes investment funds with a finite number of units (as opposed to exchange-traded funds or ETFs, which are open- ended), originally issued through an initial public offering (IPO) and subsequently traded on a stock exchange. Closed-end funds come in a variety of types, including funds of income funds and split-share corporations and trusts, as well as products geared to a single asset class.
The feature research article picks up where our last Closed-end Funds report, published in late 2006, left off. The analysis focuses on trends in growth, flow activity, asset class/investment mandates, and product features that took place in the past two years. We have widened our scope with a sidebar feature on limited partnerships (including flow-through partnerships). We also provide a glossary of definitions for the closed-end fund segment.
The Trend Lines article notes that the unprecedented volatility in equity markets around the world is prompting an industry-wide reassessment of the business outlook. To help fund companies in that task, we take a look at the lessons learned from the last down-market cycle. Though no two cycles are exactly alike, we still believe that there is value in looking at historical experience.