• F&C traces its heritage to the launch of the Foreign & Colonial Investment Trust (FCIT) in 1868 – the world’s first investment vehicle and one we are proud to continue to manage today.

  • Our history

    As the world’s first ever publicly listed pooled investment vehicle FCIT was truly ground breaking, signalling the birth of the modern fund management industry. Its goal was to enable the “investor of moderate means the same advantages as the large Capitalists, in diminishing the risk of investing” across the globe.

    F&C Management was established as a stand alone asset manager in 1972 to manage the FCIT portfolio. The company soon began managing additional investment funds and attracting new clients. HypoBank took a 50% stake in the business in 1989, increasing its ownership to 90% in 1998. In 2001 F&C Management was acquired by financial services group Eureko, and the European presence of F&C was expanded through the integration of fund management businesses in the Netherlands, Portugal and Ireland.

    In 2004 F&C Management merged with ISIS Asset Management and obtained its stock market listing as F&C Asset Management PLC.

    In 2009 F&C was de-merged from Friends Provident, achieving full independence for the first time.

    On 7 May 2014, F&C Asset Management plc was acquired by Bank of Montreal through its wholly owned subsidiary, BMO Global Asset Management (Europe) Limited. The combined company delivers service excellence from 24 offices in 14 countries across 5 continents.

    Use our interactive timeline below to view key dates in the history of F&C

    Timeline introduction


    1868 large

    Launch of Foreign & Colonial Government Trust by solicitor Philip Rose (Norton Rose) with Lord Westbury as first Chairman (originally the Foreign & Colonial Government Trust). Included investments in Canada, Europe, Russia, Turkey, Egypt, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Peru and the US.

    And also in this year...

    • French astronomer Pierre Jules César Janssen discovers helium
    • Thomas Edison applied for his first patent, the electric vote recorder.
    • Time zone: New Zealand officially adopts a standard time to be observed nationally, and is perhaps the first country to do so.


    1881 large

    Foreign and Colonial Investment Trust makes first Indian and Japanese investment.

    And also in this year...

    • The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral takes place at Tombstone, Arizona
    • A Study in Scarlet, the first Sherlock Holmes story, begins
    • Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell form the Oriental Telephone Company


    1883 large

    Foreign and Colonial Investment Trust makes first African investment.

    And also in this year...

    • Eruption of Mount Krakatoa
    • Alexander III is crowned Tsar of Russia
    • Karl Marx died


    1886 large

    Foreign and Colonial Investment Trust makes first China investment.

    And also in this year...

    • Karl Benz patents the first successful gasoline-driven automobile
    • Typewriter ribbon patented
    • Putney Bridge opened


    1891 large

    First non-Government Bonds added to FCIT and “Government” dropped from FCIT name.

    And also in this year...

    • Penalty spot kick was invented for football
    • The Wrigley Company is founded in Chicago, Illinois
    • Carnegie Hall opened with Tchaikovsky as the guest conductor


    1915 Large

    At the outbreak of war the London Stock Exchange was closed for five months.

    "When the Zeppelin [bombing] raids began in May 1915, my job was to take [the Foreign & Colonial leather-bound ledgers] down by lift in a trolley to the Strong Room, and get them up again in the morning. After nine months on active service in North Russia, I returned in October 1919." Mr A J Quin-Harkin, a former Foreign & Colonial accounts clerk, born in 1897.


    1916 Large

    At the height of the war, the Foreign and Colonial board decided to amend their articles to allow the substantial purchase of British War Bonds. By the end of the war, 5 per cent War Loan, 1929-1947 had become the trust’s largest single investment.


    The price of the Foreign and Colonial ordinary stock stood at approximately 140 before the outbreak of war but by 1919 it had declined to around 99. By 1927 the price had moved forward once again to 193. However, the accounts show that a dividend of 7 per cent was paid in 1915 and maintained at 6 per cent for the remainder of the conflict.


    1925 large

    Foreign and Colonial Investment Trust starts investing in equities.

    And also in this year...

    • The New Yorker publishes its first issue
    • Canada House opens in London, England


    1931 large

    Princes House, Basinghall Street, City of London where Foreign & Colonial remained from 1931 until 1956. The building still stands today. The building had a basement with a generator, which became very useful in the Second World War. 480 feet below that was a natural spring which provided a supply of pure, slightly sparkling mineral water to every water-consuming device in the premises.


    1972 images

    Foreign and Colonial Management created to service Foreign and Colonial Investment Trust.

    And also in this year...

    • Rose Heilbron becomes the first woman judge to sit at the Old Bailey in London
    • Sales of the Volkswagen Beetle model exceed those of the Ford Model-T
    • The United Kingdom imposes “Direct Rule” over Northern Ireland


    1982 large

    Ivory & Sime gains listing on the London Stock Exchange.

    And also in this year...

    • Syzygy: all 9 planets align on the same side of the Sun
    • Spain becomes the 16th member of NATO and the first nation to enter the alliance since West Germany’s admission in 1955
    • At the University of Utah, Barney Clark, becomes the first person to receive a permanent artificial heart


    1984 large

    Friends Provident launches Stewardship ethical fund.

    And also in this year...

    • The first Apple Macintosh goes on sale
    • Space Shuttle Challenger is launched on the tenth space shuttle mission
    • Desmond Tutu is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize


    1985 large

    Foreign and Colonial Management to be developed as third party Manager, as well as servicing Foreign & Colonial Investment Trusts.

    And also in this year...

    • The first British mobile phone call is made by Ernie Wise to Vodafone
    • Martina Navratilova wins her 100th tennis tournament
    • EastEnders first airs on televisions across the United Kingdom


    1989 large

    50% of Foreign & Colonial Management sold to HypoBank by Foreign and Colonial Investment Trust.

    And also in this year...

    • In Egypt, a 4,400 year old mummy is found in the Pyramid of Cheops
    • Akihito becomes Emperor of Japan
    • In Alaska’s Prince William Sound the Exxon Valdez spills 240,000 barrels


    1993 large

    F&C Emerging Markets Ltd organised as separate division.

    And also in this year...

    • A single market within the European Community is introduced
    • Microsoft unveils Windows NT
    • The Intel Corporation ships the first Pentium chips


    1995 large

    Friends Provident Asset Management (FPAM) formed.

    And also in this year...

    • The Sony Playstation is released in the United States
    • The Dow Jones Industrial Average gains 30.28 to close at 4,003.33, closing above 4,000 for the first time
    • After 18 years as the Mayor of Paris, Jacques Chirac takes office as President of France


    1997 large

    Friends Provident reverses Friends Provident Asset Management into Ivory & Sime.

    And also in this year...

    • A large fire occurs in the Russian Space station, Mir
    • Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the first book in J.K. Rowling’s hugely popular Harry Potter series, is published
    • The F.W. Woolworth Company closes after 117 years in business


    1998 large

    LauHVB lifts stake in Foreign & Colonial Management to 90% and Friends Ivory & Sime (FIS) created, includes assets from FP acquisition of London & Manchester of Foreign & Colonial Government Trust by solicitor Philip Rose (Norton Rose) with Lord Westbury as first Chairman (originally the Foreign & Colonial Governement Trust). Included investments in Canada, Europe, Russia, Turkey, Egypt, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Peru, US.

    And also in this year...

    • Nineteen European nations agree to forbid human cloning
    • Data sent from the Galileo space probe indicates that Jupiter’s moon Europa has a liquid ocean under a thick crust of ice
    • Google Inc. is founded



    Foreign & Colonial Management sold to Eureko and rebranded as “F&C Management”.

    And also in this year...

    • Millionaire Dennis Tito becomes the world’s first space tourist
    • The Microsoft Xbox video game console launches in North America
    • Trans World Airlines flies its last flight, after being bought by American Airlines


    2002 large

    Friends Ivory & Sime acquires RSA Investments, group re-branding as ISIS Asset Management.

    And also in this year...

    • The Peseta is discontinued as official currency of Spain and is replaced with the Euro
    • The funeral of HM Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother of the United Kingdom is held at Westminster Abbey
    • Brazil defeats Germany 2-0 in Yokohama, Japan, to earn a record fifth title in the 17th Football World Cup


    2004 large

    F&C Management and ISIS Asset Management merge to form F&C Asset Management plc, company lists on the London Stock Exchnage.

    And also in this year...

    • Stardust successfully flies past Comet Wild 2, collecting samples that it will return to Earth two years later
    • Vladimir Putin is re-elected president of Russia
    • A 1.3 kg chondrite type meteorite strikes a house in Ellerslie, New Zealand causing serious damage but no injuries


    2008 large

    Creation of F&C REIT – a leading international property asset manager – through the merger of F&C’s property business and REIT Asset Management.

    And also in this year...

    • Fidel Castro announces his resignation as President of Cuba
    • Singapore Flyer, the world’s tallest ferris wheel, opens to the public
    • Queen Elizabeth II officially opens the new Terminal 5 at London Heathrow Airport


    2009 large

    Friends Provident distributes its shareholding in F&C to its own shareholders. F&C agrees to launch a joint venture fund management company in China with Hua Xia Bank.

    And also in this year...

    • The inauguration of the first African American President of the United States – Barack Obama on 20 January 2009
    • March 2009 saw the UK’s lowest interest rate of 0.5% in the Bank of England’s history


    2010 large

    F&C acquires Thames River Capital, an absolute return focused asset manager, as part of its strategy of diversifying beyond its core insurance clients.

    And also in this year...

    • Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition comes to power in the UK
    • South Africa becomes first African nation to host the World Cup



    Edward Bramson became F&C chairman in February 2011 and executive chairman in October 2011.



    Richard Wilson became chief executive of F&C Asset Management plc on 1 Jan 2013. Kieran Poynter became non-executive chairman in August 2013 as Edward Bramson stepped down from the board.


    In January 2014, Bank of Montreal and F&C Asset Management plc announce their agreement on the terms of a recommended cash acquisition of F&C by a Bank of Montreal subsidiary.

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