If a particular body corporate ('BC') comes within the definition of a collective investment scheme, the second element in the definition is whether the property to which the scheme relates meets the property condition. This condition is that the property must belong beneficially to, and be managed by or on behalf of, BC. In addition, BC must have as its purpose the investment of its funds to:
The property belonging to BC may be property of any description, including money. For example, the arrangements may relate to real estate, works of art or a particular enterprise or rural activity. It must, of course, be possible to value the property if the requirements of the investment condition concerned with the link to net asset value are to be met (see PERG 9.9 (The investment condition: the 'satisfaction test' (section 236(3)(b) of the Act))).
The property of the collective investment scheme must belong beneficially to BC, although the legal title to it may be held by a third party. However, the holders of shares or securities issued by BC may not have a beneficial interest in that property. In exchange for their contributions, they will only have rights against BC.
The purpose of BC will need to be determined bearing in mind its constitutional instruments and any other relevant material: for example, material in a prospectus or offer document or other promotional material. The prevailing law may also be relevant.
In the FSA's view, the question of whether funds are invested by BC with the aim of spreading investment risk is not affected by the levels of risk involved in particular investments. What matters for these purposes is that the aim is to spread the risk, whatever it may be. For example, the value of each of BC's investments, if taken separately, might be subject to a high level of risk. However, this would not itself result in BC failing to satisfy the property condition as long as it could be said that the range of different investments demonstrated that the aim was to spread investment risk.