Lowland Investment Company Plc
UK Equity Income
Rated Fund 2013, 2016-19. Offers diversified exposure to UK companies
Lowland provides diversified exposure to UK companies of all sizes. The trust has had the experienced James Henderson at the helm since 1990, alongside Laura Foll since 2016.
There are 120 companies in the portfolio: 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 at IpsoFacto Investor.
The trust yields 4.1%. Its dividends, paid quarterly, have more than doubled over the past decade and the trust has significant income reserves to maintain payouts in hard times.
Although its managers’ objective is to grow income, they are great believers in prioritising capital growth to drive up income.
This strategy has worked well over the long term. The trust has returned more than 300% over 10 years, double the return of the FTSE All-Share index. Over three and five years, it has underperformed the index.
It did particularly poorly during 2018 on account of its weighting to smaller companies, typically domestically focused and trading on discounts to the wider market not seen since the financial crisis.
However, Foll sees potential for UK equities – “under-owned and unloved” – going into 2019. She says: “With any type of resolution or progress [on Brexit], fund selectors could feel quite vulnerable. They might feel the need to start owning the UK again and that would be really positive for UK domestic equities.”
Shares in the trust traded at a mid-single digit discount to net asset value for most of 2018 and have traded in a range of -10% to a premium of 3.7% over the past three years.
Narrative and ratings content all as of 01 January 2019.See all Money Observer rated funds
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Laura Foll is a Fund 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.
Data provided by Morningstar.
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