Shares - - GREAT IDEAS -

Es­tab­lished in 1909 to man­age the es­tate of the first Lord Far­ring­don, Wi­tan In­vest­ment Trust has a rich her­itage. In 2004 Wi­tan took a new di­rec­tion and de­cided to adopt a multi-man­ager ap­proach, se­lect­ing in­vest­ment man­agers with dif­fer­ent styles and spe­cial­i­sa­tions, in or­der to al­low the trust to play to man­agers’ in­di­vid­ual strengths to re­duce the per­for­mance volatil­ity that can arise from de­pen­dence on a sin­gle man­ager for ev­ery­thing. Wi­tan in­vests its share­hold­ers’ funds pri­mar­ily in a broad geo­graph­i­cal spread of global eq­uity mar­kets and aims to profit from op­por­tu­ni­ties cre­ated by global eco­nomic growth, gen­er­at­ing longterm cap­i­tal growth to­gether with an in­come that rises faster than the rate of in­fla­tion.

Chief Ex­ec­u­tive, An­drew Bell ex­plains; ‘If you choose one man­ager, how­ever good they are, they will tend to play to a cer­tain theme, which will work very well in some mar­ket con­di­tions and less well in oth­ers. Our ob­jec­tive is to choose peo­ple based on what they’re good at. Some­one who’s good with UK eq­ui­ties might not have global ex­per­tise, so we choose spe­cial­ists. Part of our pur­pose in choos­ing a se­lec­tion of man­agers is also to smooth out their peaks and troughs in per­for­mance’.

Over-diver­si­fi­ca­tion is a po­ten­tial pit­fall with this ap­proach. Since each man­ager will have mul­ti­ple stocks in their port­fo­lio, the to­tal num­ber of stocks can mount up, with a risk that they end up can­celling each other’s views out. ‘We em­pha­sise higher con­vic­tion stock-pick­ing by our man­agers to re­duce the risk of un­in­ten­tional in­dex-hug­ging. In in­vest­ment, as in cook­ing, the in­di­vid­ual in­gre­di­ents to your recipe need some tang and spice about them, to ren­der the fi­nal dish ap­petis­ing’.

Although past per­for­mance is no guar­an­tee of fu­ture per­for­mance, over the last 10 years the Com­pany’s net as­set value to­tal re­turn has been 228% ver­sus the bench­mark per­for­mance of 178% (per­for­mance fig­ures are 30th Septem­ber 2008 to 30th Septem­ber 2018) and 2018 marked the trust’s 43rd year of con­sec­u­tive div­i­dend growth.

With a global strat­egy, Wi­tan aims to of­fer in­vestors a one-stop shop for global eq­ui­ties seek­ing to de­liver long term growth in in­come and cap­i­tal.

Wi­tan In­vest­ment Trust is an eq­uity in­vest­ment. Please re­mem­ber past per­for­mance is not a guide to fu­ture per­for­mance, and the value of shares and the in­come from them can rise and fall as a re­sult of cur­rency and mar­ket fluc­tu­a­tions, so in­vestors may not get back the amount orig­i­nally in­vested.

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