Seneca Global Income & Growth is one of a small, select number of multi-asset investment trusts. But as of last week, it carries another distinction, being the first investment trust to be risk-profiled by Dynamic Planner.
The lack of Dynamic Planner risk profiling for investment trusts has been a barrier to wider use of closed-ended vehicles for some time.
Not the only barrier, it's true, but a significant one for a large segment of advisers who rely on Dynamic Planner to match their clients with suitable investments.
There was never any reason why Dynamic Planner could not risk profile investment trusts. They are, after all, just funds, and if they have a couple of extra moving parts - such as the ability to use gearing - these did not present any unsurmountable obstacle.
Conversations between Seneca, the AIC and Dynamic Planner led to the conclusion that there was no good reason to exclude the Seneca-managed investment trust from the same framework of risk assessment undergone by its open-ended mandates.
The result is that Seneca Global Income & Growth, with its risk profile of 7, now sits alongside its open-ended multi-asset funds (a 5 and a 6). For advisers who rely on Dynamic Planner, that expands their choices - which can only be a good thing.
This is just the kind of innovation we like to see at the AIC. We have welcomed the increasing use of investment trusts since the Retail Distribution Review (with purchases now exceeding £1bn a year on adviser platforms) but, like Seneca, believe this trend has further to go.
The events of the past couple of years have confirmed this belief. With Woodford Equity Income and again with property funds, we have seen open-ended funds struggle with illiquid underlying assets in a way that has threatened to knock investors' confidence in entire asset classes and even the funds industry as a whole.
The Financial Conduct Authority has now recognised this problem and is taking steps to address it.
For advisers wishing to offer clients access to anything other than mainstream equities and bonds, without locking up clients' money for extended periods, the solution is likely to be either listed vehicles or funds that hold them. Many advisers now realise that an exclusively open-ended view of the investment landscape is a restricted one.
It is a point that is also well understood by wealth manager Smith & Williamson, whose model portfolios - risk-rated by Dynamic Planner from 3 to 8 - contain investment trusts at all risk levels, offering access to a wide range of assets that provide true diversification and enhance risk-adjusted returns.
We're still some way away from seeing a level playing field between open-ended funds and investment trusts. Closed-ended vehicles are still too often discounted without even being properly considered.
But the addition of investment trusts to Dynamic Planner's family of risk-profiled funds is an encouraging step towards a proper appreciation of their merits - and, crucially, their risks as well.
Nick Britton is head of intermediary communications at the Association of Investment Companies