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Defaqto, one of the UK’s most trusted sources of financial product and market intelligence, has announced the addition of Star and Diamond Ratings for AIM and Unlisted Business Relief (BR) services to its existing suite of product ratings. 

The move follows Defaqto’s acquisition of tax-advantaged investments specialist MICAP in July last year and the introduction of Star and Diamond Ratings for EIS (Enterprise Investment Scheme) funds and VCTs (Venture Capital Trusts) in November. 

Investments into AIM and Unlisted BR services are intended to qualify for Business Relief (subject to the minimum holding periods and any excepted assets), which means that the entire investment can fall outside of the investor’s estate for inheritance tax purposes. They are widely recommended by financial advisers and wealth managers for clients who are in the later stage of their life, concerned about inheritance tax but reluctant to cede control of their assets.

MICAP is the recognised market leader in the provision of independent research and advice tools on tax-advantaged products. The new Star and Diamond Ratings leverage MICAP’s data on the tax-advantaged market and apply Defaqto’s trusted methodology to assess quality and performance. 

The MICAP platform is used by more than 1000 IFA and wealth management firms and provides advisers with clear, independent information on EIS, SEIS, VCT and BR products, as well as digital application forms and post-investment consolidated reporting. 

Defaqto has been providing an independent, robust and trusted assessment of the quality of products through Star Ratings and Diamond Ratings since 2015, including a wide range of advised product areas as well as funds and fund families. A product’s Star Rating is a measure of the quality of features whilst a Diamond Rating is an indication of product performance. These two ratings therefore help advisers and consumers assess products at-a-glance. Defaqto’s research shows that 88% of consumers are more likely to choose a Defaqto-rated product, and 80% of its adviser clients use Defaqto Ratings as part of their selection criteria.

John Milliken, CEO of Defaqto, said “This launch confirms our ongoing commitment to supporting advisers and consumers looking at the tax-advantaged investment market. By combining Defaqto’s technology and understanding of financial planners’ needs with MICAP’s specialist data, we will help advisers when they discuss tax-advantaged investment options with their clients, and also when they evidence their recommendations. Defaqto’s Star and Diamond Ratings for EIS and VCT have been well received since we introduced them in November and we’re looking forward to sharing the new Defaqto star ratings for AIM BR and Unlisted BR services.”