Fund Sectors

There are over 50 IA sectors. These are there to help anyone navigate around the large universe of funds in the UK and include some offshore (EU) funds.

The sectors divide up the funds into smaller groups, to allow you to make like-for-like comparisons between funds in one or more sectors, for instance to look at performance and fund charges.


IA sector definitions

Each sector has a clear definition setting out the criteria a fund must fulfil. We’ve organised most sectors based on the main asset types the fund invests in. Funds in any sector may offer a wide mix of asset, strategies and risk profiles. Look up individual sector definitions.


What sectors are there?

There are around 4,000 funds on sale in the UK that are classified to the IA sectors. Our sectors provide a way to divide these into broad groups, so investors and advisers can compare funds in one or more sectors before looking in detail at individual funds.


Managing the sectors

The IA’s sectors are overseen by our Sectors Committee. An independent monitoring company checks the funds monthly to ensure they comply with the sector definition. If they don’t, we can remove them. Find out more about how we manage sectors and our Sector Committee reviews.


How we organise sectors

Broadly, we split funds between ‘income’ and ‘capital growth’. We then classify these by asset type, region or industry sector they invest in. Some sectors focus on protecting capital or are in a Specialist category, while others are Unclassified. Some sectors group together funds with an outcome focus such as Targeted Absolute Return or the Volatility Managed sector. See more about sector classification.

In April 2021, ETFs were classified into the IA sectors for the first time. These FAQs provide further information.



A key way the industry, fund selectors and distributors use fund sectors is to compare performance. Please note, data vendors collect performance data to calculate sector averages. We think common comparisons are a good thing and support data vendors to identify a ‘primary’ share class in the post-RDR (retail distribution review) world. Find out more about fund sector performance.