The trust, a global multi-manager fund aiming for long term growth and avoiding short term plays, was due to launch on the stock market next week with the underlying fund managers selected by Willis Towers Watson.
The company said that despite “a significant level of interest from retail investors” the company has not raised sufficient capital to reach a level considered by the directors to be viable. Lack of support from institutional investors was blamed for failing to reach the £125m target.
The company said: “Therefore, the proposed launch of the company is not proceeding at this time.”
Any money received will be refunded to investors.
Daniel Godfrey, chief executive of The People’s Trust, said: “The People’s Trust offered a unique and attractive investment proposition and had attracted a great deal of interest and support. Not least from 2,500 Founders, who collectively contributed over £100,000 towards our set up costs in a crowdsourcing exercise late in 2016.
“There was every indication that had we achieved critical mass, The People’s Trust would have gone on to thrive. Disappointingly, this was not to be. Unfortunately, retail investor interest alone, whilst substantial, was not enough in the absence of sufficient additional support from institutional investors and discretionary wealth managers. All investors who subscribed for shares will receive a full refund.”
He added: “It’s always hard to break the mould. While we have not succeeded on this occasion, the case we have made for a fundamental change in the investment chain has definitely left some cracks. Our argument, for the investment chain to abandon its focus on short-term index-relative returns in favour of sustainable wealth creation and the stewardship to support it, has been widely accepted. One day it will happen - to the great benefit of investors, society and the economy.
“Finally, I want to thank our founders and all those who helped make possible this incredible effort to create something special and express my disappointment and regret that we are not able to proceed.”