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Rising Stars: The Investment Company Managers to Watch

July 17th, 2017
Author: Economic Voice Staff

There are many well-known and respected fund managers in the investment company sector; Neil Woodford, Mark Barnett and Nick Train to name but a few. Looking to the future, which fund managers are the ‘rising stars’ of the sector?

The Association of Investment Companies (AIC) spoke to investment company analysts to find out which managers they believe are ones to watch:

Anthony Leatham, Head of Investment Trust Research at Peel Hunt LLP said: “Paul Major has made the transition from analyst to fund manager and was appointed as co-lead manager on the recently-launched BB Healthcare Trust.  Paul is not new to the Healthcare sector, having spent 18 years covering the stocks in the universe, initially as an analyst and corporate financier at UBS/SBC Warburg and, more recently, as a research partner at Redburn.  Paul is a biochemist by background and is supported by a team of highly experienced specialists at Bellevue Asset Management.  Importantly, he is able to express his stock picking skill on this very concentrated (max 35 stock) portfolio.  We think that the combined experience of Paul Major, his co-manager Dr Daniel Koller and the wider team makes this strategy well placed to deliver double-digit annualised shareholder return through fundamental stock analysis and an unconstrained investment approach.

Investing (PD)

“Another manager who is not new to his asset class but new to the investment companies sector is Ross Teverson.  He is the lead manager on the Jupiter Emerging and Frontier Income Trust and joined Jupiter in 2014 having spent 15 years at Standard Life Investments, where he managed global emerging market equity funds and delivered returns which regularly put him in the top-decile of the open-ended peer group.  This disarmingly intuitive focus on companies which are undergoing change, combined with an unconstrained mandate, accessing stocks from across the market cap spectrum and going beyond emerging into frontier markets, is expressed through a high conviction, concentrated portfolio.  Ross takes a hands-on approach and is often found travelling to far-flung regions to meet with company management as part of his search for capital growth and income.”

Emma Bird, Research Analyst at Winterflood said: “Guy Anderson is the lead manager of The Mercantile Investment Trust, a UK mid-cap focused investment trust with assets of over £2bn. He was appointed as lead manager in April last year, having been involved with the management of the fund since August 2012 and has been responsible for 50% of the portfolio since March 2015. Guy Anderson is a highly-regarded manager and we believe that his promotion to lead manager of the largest investment trust investing in UK equities within five years demonstrates JPMorgan’s confidence in his ability. Mercantile is Guy’s sole focus and he is supported by a well-resourced team. The manager’s passion about the individual stocks in which he invests is evident and the fund has started to show signs of a turnaround in performance since his role was expanded just over two years ago.”

Olivia Markham is a member of BlackRock’s Natural Resources team, having joined BlackRock in 2011 from her role as a sell-side mining analyst, providing her with in-depth knowledge of the sector. She became co-manager of BlackRock Commodities Income Investment Trust in January 2014 and of BlackRock World Mining Trust in April 2015, replacing the highly-regarded Catherine Raw, who left to join Barrick Gold as CFO. Olivia is considered to be a rising star at BlackRock and we rate the company's Natural Resources team highly.”

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Ewan Lovett-Turner, Investment Companies Research Director at Numis Securities Limited said: “James Goldstonehas big shoes to fill after taking over the management of Keystone Investment Trust from Mark Barnett in April 2017. He has already put his stamp on the portfolio, continuing to utilise a bottom-up approach with a focus on quality companies with visible cash flow growth, but placing a greater emphasis on valuation, and less on the top-down macro framework. It remains early days, but he had made a good start with Keystone’s NAV total return up 4.4% versus 3.5% for the FTSE All Share since taking over.

Laura Foll is part of Janus Henderson’s highly experienced Value and Income team, working alongside James Henderson. She has been co-manager of Lowland since 2013 and involved in Law Debenture since 2011. In addition, she may be familiar to many from her frequent appearances on BBC radio. I’ve been impressed by Laura’s deep stock specific knowledge and I expect her to have a bright future.”

Monica Tepes, Head of Investment Companies Research at Cantor Fitzgerald Europe said: “Seneca Global Income & Growth’s Peter Elston is only about one year into his joint lead manager position. This is a small multi-asset fund, (£70m market cap) but has big ambitions to grow and has already made good progress in this direction with strong performance, an attractive yield, a successful zero-discount policy in place and already some share issuance.

“Also, Keith Watson and Robert Crayfourd from CQS. They run three natural resources trusts – City Natural Resources High Yield, Golden Prospect Precious Metals and Geiger Counter. While they have been with CQS since 2013 and 2011 respectively, this has coincided for the most part with a very tough time for their sector – the first five of the last six years saw natural resource equities recording declines in every year. 2016 however saw a sharp reversal of this trend and all three funds were amongst the top 15 best performing trusts with price total returns of 57% to 95%. While 2017 started well for the sector, those gains have since been given back; I do think however that should the recovery trend get back on track and continue over the coming years, the managers will get more media and investor attention.”

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