50% of trusts have been managed by at least one of their current fund managers for 10 years or longer.
Half of all investment trust have been managed by the same person for 10 years or more, according to research by the Association of Investment Companies (AIC).
A total of 94 investment trusts, representing 50% of all trusts that are members of the AIC with a track record of 10 years or more, have had their manager for over a decade. Meanwhile, around 10% (19 trusts in total) have had their manager for more than 20 years.
According to Annabel Brodie-Smith, communications director at the AIC, these numbers should comfort investors. She noted: “With markets always unpredictable, it is reassuring for investors that many investment company managers have steered their company through different conditions, experiencing good times and bad.”
In contrast, concerns have been raised about the relatively short tenures of managers of open-ended investment funds. Brodie-Smith suggests that the closed-end nature of investment trusts, meaning fund managers do not have to deal with inflows (new investor money) and outflows (investor withdrawals), could help explain the longevity of management at trusts.
As the table below shows, the longest-serving manager has been Peter Spiller from Capital Gearing, who has served for more than 37 years. The share price of Capital Gearing is now roughly 200 times higher than what it was when Spiller took control in 1982.
The third-longest serving manager was Hugh Young of Aberdeen New Dawn. Young has been at the head of the portfolio since 1989. As well as Aberdeen New Dawn, Young has managed a number of open-ended Asia-focused funds for roughly the same time period. Over the past 20 years, Aberdeen New Dawn has returned investors (as measured to March 2019) 1,311.2%.
Alistair Whyte and Richard Newbery, both co-managers of Aberforth Smaller Companies, are also on the list. Both have run the trust since December 1990. Over the past 20 years, they have returned investors 928.9%.
|Company name||AIC sector||Manager name||Effective||Time|
|Capital Gearing||Flexible Investment||Peter Spiller||01/01/1982||37 years 5 months|
|Rights & Issues||UK Smaller Companies||Simon Knott||01/01/1984||35 years 5 months|
|Aberdeen New Dawn||Asia Pacific||Hugh Young||12/05/1989||30 years 1 month|
|Lowland||UK Equity Income||James H Henderson||01/01/1990||29 years 5 months|
|Aberforth Smaller Companies||UK Smaller Companies||Richard M J Newbery||10/12/1990||28 years 6 months|
|Aberforth Smaller Companies||UK Smaller Companies||Alistair J Whyte||10/12/1990||28 years 6 months|
|City of London||UK Equity Income||Job Curtis||01/07/1991||27 years 11 months|
|Mercantile||UK All Companies||Martin Hudson||01/01/1994||25 years 5 months|
|Herald||Global Smaller Companies||Katie Potts||16/02/1994||25 years 4 months|
|JPMorgan Emerging Markets||Global Emerging Markets||Austin Forey||01/06/1994||25 years 0 months|