Witan Investment Investors - WTAN

Witan Investment Investors - WTAN

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Stock Name Stock Symbol Market Stock Type Stock ISIN Stock Description
Witan Investment Trust Plc WTAN London Ordinary Share GB00BJTRSD38 ORD 5P
  Price Change Price Change % Stock Price Last Trade
0.00 0.0% 234.50 16:29:55
Open Price Low Price High Price Close Price Previous Close
234.50 234.50 235.00 234.50 234.50
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robow: from Investment Trust Insider Witan drops Pease, Mitchell & Pzena in big, global revamp By Gavin Lumsden 01 Jun, 2020 at 17:00 (Update) Witan (WTAN), the £1.5bn multi-manager global investment trust, has dropped three underperforming external fund managers out of its 10-strong lineup as it looks to reverse a 23% drop in its share price that has left the listed fund at the bottom of its sector this year. The company, whose portfolio of external mandates is overseen by chief executive Andrew Bell (pictured), told investors today it had substantially reduced its allocations to star European fund managers Richard Pease of Crux Asset Management and Stuart Mitchell of SW Mitchell Capital in February. It said the positions, which had each represented 4.3% of Witan’s assets at the end of last year but were cut to 2% at 30 April, had since been sold and the money redistributed mainly among its existing global fund managers, who include Nick Train, Veritas’ Andy Headley and Lansdowne Partners’ Peter Davies. New York-based Pzena Investment Management was not a beneficiary of the reshuffle as the global value fund manager, which had been responsible for 12% of Witan’s assets, was also dropped. This is Witan’s biggest revamp of its fund manager selections since Bell took over the portfolio 10 years ago. Its last major review was in 2017 when Bell and chief investment officer James Hart reduced its global mandates from five to three and gave more money to Pzena. Although Witan’s reduced panel of external managers retains a mixture of investment styles, in addition to downgrading Europe in the portfolio, the changes also appear to mark a shift towards ‘growth’ investing by the ‘dividend hero’, which has increased shareholder dividends for the past 45 years. This comes at a time when the 13-year dominance of growth over rival ‘value’ investing has ironically been boosted by the recessionary impact of Covid-19 on the global economy. This has made the small number of companies with intact growth prospects more valuable than ever, while making cheap stocks even cheaper in the stock market crash. Witan’s annual report in March revealed that Crux, SW Mitchell and Pzena had all underperformed their stock market benchmarks since their appointment up to the end of December. Pzena, whose Caroline Cai had run a ‘systematic value’ portfolio for Witan since December 2013, had delivered a 10.4% return over six years, behind the 12.4% gain of the FTSE All-World index. Pease and Mitchell, who were both appointed October 2017, had by the end of 2019 generated total returns of just 2.7% and 1.3%, both behind the 3.4% of the FTSE Europe ex-UK index. Pease, who founded Crux in 2014 after leaving the then Henderson Global Investors, ran for Witan a concentrated version of the Crux European Special Situations fund he manages with James Milne. It has had a difficult few years, falling 6.3% in the three years to the end of April to rank 87 our of 113 funds in the Europe sector. Mitchell, a former JO Hambro star fund manager who set up on his own 15 years ago, runs the SWMC European fund which fell 5.5% in the three years to 30 April to stand around half-way down the 180 funds in its sector. Witan said it sold the £216m held in Pzena investments and reinvested in equity index futures and a US equity exchange-traded fund (ETF) while it searched for a new global fund manager. It said some of the money switched from Pease and Mitchell had also gone to two of the up-and-coming fund managers it backs within the trust’s direct portfolio managed by Bell and Hart. These are Freddie Lait at Latitude Investment Management, who Witan first invested in two years ago and raised his allocation to £23m last November; and GMO Climate Change Fund, in which it invested £20m a year ago. Witan viewed both as ‘having strong potential to add value in the medium term’. The changes follow an overhaul to Witan’s asset allocation benchmark at the start of the year which saw it switch Train’s £180m global mandate from a UK approach. As part of this Witan cut its target weighting to the UK to 15% and lifted the rest of the world to 85%. In practice, an overlap between the two means the trust is looking to move towards an 19% UK and 81% non-UK split in its assets. At the end of April the UK weighting stood at 22%, down from 30% in December. In April Bell admitted Witan had been wrong footed by the coronavirus pandemic and had been too bullishly positioned going into the crisis. This year’s decline has depressed Witan’s long-term returns. Over 10 years it has delivered a total shareholder return of 151%, beating the 80% from the FTSE All-Share but trailing the 184% of the MSCI World index and the 263% average of its AIC Global sector. It also lags the 196% of Alliance Trust (ATST), its closest rival after switching to a multi-manager strategy nearly three years ago. Witan’s other external managers include Artemis’s Derek Stuart with a UK recovery portfolio, Bevis Comer of Heronbridge with a UK value-growth approach, Yu Zhang of Matthews Asia and Rajiv Jain of emerging markets boutique GVG Partners. The updated manager weightings will be published with Witan’s latest factsheet next week.
biggest bill: I see that more than half of the Friends Life shares were snapped up by other investors before Witan could buy them back. I'm not surprised; I've been buying the shares heavily for the last three weeks at an attractive and (hopefully) temporary discount.
jl202: Any holders of this investment trust "blue chip"? Positive beta has followed the market nicely over the last few days. Witan INV TST(WTAN) RNS Number:1409A Witan Investment Trust PLC 19 August 2002 WITAN INVESTMENT TRUST PLC HENDERSON GLOBAL INVESTORS 19 AUGUST 2002 WITAN INVESTMENT TRUST PLC As at close of business on 16 August 2002, the unaudited net asset value per share calculated in accordance with the AITC formula (excluding current financial year revenue items) was 348.6p. - ENDS - For further information, please call: John Hilton Investment Trust Accounting Department Cogent Investment Operations Limited Tel: 020 7410 4538 This information is provided by RNS The company news service from the London Stock Exchange END
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