Lowland Investment Company Plc
UK Equity Income
Rated Fund 2013, 2016-20. Offers diversified exposure to UK companies
Providing diversified exposure to UK companies of all sizes, Lowland has had the experienced James Henderson at the helm since 1990 alongside Laura Foll since 2016. They run a portfolio of around 120 companies - an eclectic mix of early-stage companies, recovery situations, strongly growing medium-sized names and large majors, making it "different from much of the pack", according to David Liddell, a director of IpsoFacto Investor.
"Recent performance has lagged, but a reasonable discount and a high yield give investors some protection to ride this out until the team's long-term record shows through," he says. The trust yields 4.1% and pays dividends quarterly. Although its objective is to grow income, the managers are great believers in prioritising capital growth as a means to grow income. This strategy has worked well over the long term. The trust has returned more than 200% over 10 years, almost double the FTSE All-Share index.
It did particularly poorly during 2018 on account of its weighting to smaller companies, typically domestically focused and buffeted by Brexit headwinds. However, Foll believes 2020 will be a turning point for UK equities given the prospect of a resolution on Brexit: "Since the EU referendum result, the UK equity market has been an easy one to ignore. This decision to ignore the UK may be about to become much harder." She expects a recent pick-up in takeover interest within the portfolio to accelerate on any resolution. The trust has net gearing of 12% and its shares have traded consistently at a discount to net asset value for the past three years, which has averaged 5%.
Narrative and ratings content all as of January 2020.See all Money Observer rated funds
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Laura Foll is a Portfolio Manager on the Global Equity Income Team at Janus Henderson Investors, a position she has held since 2014. Laura joined Henderson in 2009 as part of the graduate scheme. She was subsequently named a global analyst and later an assistant fund manager for the Global Equity Income Team. Laura graduated with a BSc degree (Hons) in economics and economic history from the London School of Economics. She holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.
James Henderson is Director of UK Investment Trusts and a Portfolio Manager at Janus Henderson Investors, a position he has held since 2003. He joined Henderson in 1983 as a trainee fund manager and has successfully managed a number of investment trusts since 1990. Prior to this, he was an accountant trainee at Binder Hamlyn. James graduated with an MA (Hons) in economics from Cambridge University.
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