The Open UniversitySkip to content

The Rise of Professional Asset Management: The UK Investment Trust Network Before World War I.

Sotiropoulos, Dimitris; Rutterford, Janette and van Lieshout, Carr (2019). The Rise of Professional Asset Management: The UK Investment Trust Network Before World War I. Business History (Early Access).

Full text available as:
Full text not publicly available (Accepted Manuscript)
Due to publisher licensing restrictions, this file is not available for public download until 11 March 2021
Click here to request a copy from the OU Author.
DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link:
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


This paper analyzes the network of UK closed-end investment trust companies, the early pioneers of diversification before World War I, compiling data from different original sources with regard to their directors’ backgrounds and their characteristics as listed companies. Our results reveal that the majority of these early asset managers were merchants, bankers, lawyers, or accountants. The structure of the network is centralized around a few firms with high board sizes and a few directors with many interlocking directorships within the sector. This is a purely structural effect and cannot be explained by individual firm or director characteristics. Our results also show that investment trusts could not be grouped according to their performance. This means that interlocking directorships were equally possible between good and weak performing investment trusts, suggesting that successful asset management was due to team work and a result of collective decision making at board level.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2019 Informa UK Limited
ISSN: 1743-7938
Keywords: Investment trusts; asset managers; social network analysis; bipartite networks
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Business and Law (FBL) > Business > Department for Accounting and Finance
Faculty of Business and Law (FBL) > Business
Faculty of Business and Law (FBL)
Item ID: 62365
Depositing User: Dimitris Sotiropoulos
Date Deposited: 09 Jul 2019 13:52
Last Modified: 27 Sep 2019 16:09
Share this page:


Altmetrics from Altmetric

Citations from Dimensions

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU