Invesco’s Mark Barnett fired from another investment trust

The decision comes just four months after the board of Edinburgh Trust removed Barnett as manager.

Funds and Investment Trusts April 6, 2020 by Tom Bailey

Invesco Perpetual’s Mark Barnett has been fired by the board of the Perpetual Income and Growth investment trust.

The board of trust has notified Invesco Perpetual that it is removing the company as the manager of the trust after a period of underperformance. This means Barnett, an employee of Invesco Perpetual, will not longer be the trust’s manager.

In a statement the trust’s board said: “This decision has not been taken lightly, particularly given the current market environment.”

However, it continues: “The board has previously made it clear that it was concerned with the company’s poor performance and this continued for the most recent financial year which ended 31 March 2020.”

The trust has underperformed both its benchmark and the Association of Investment Companies (AIC) UK Equity Income investment trust sector average for some time now. Over the past five years, the sector average performance has been 10.5% and the benchmark FTSE All Share index returned 3.2%. In contrast, the trust has lost 40.2% over the same period.

According to Richard Laing, chairman of the investment trust, the board has been concerned with the fund’s performance for while and had communicated its concerns before.

Liang says: “We gave Invesco time to build on the early ‘Brexit Bounce’ that was anticipated, but this proved to be short-lived.” 

Consultancy firm Mercer and investment trust broker Winterflood will assist the board in its search for a new manager.

The decision comes just four months after the decision of another investment trust board, Edinburgh Trust, to remove Barnett and Invesco Perpetual as managers.

The board also cited disappointment in long-term performance. At the time (11 December 2019) the trust had returned just 13.1% over the past five years, compared to 34.7% for the AIC’s UK Equity Income sector and the FTSE All Share’s total return of 38.9% Majedie Asset Management’s James de Uphaugh was named as the trust’s new portfolio manager.

There’s also been several other trust sackings in recent months. For instance, Jupiter UK Growth recently removed Steve Davies in February of this year, replacing him with Richard Buxton, who had just joined Jupiter Fund Management following its takeover of Merian Global Investors.

Similarly, in March Strategic Equity Capital removed GVQ Investment Management, replacing it under the joint mandate of Gresham House and Aberdeen Standard Investments.

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Manager change at Perpetual Inc grwth

Have some sympathy with outgoing mngr as he clearly was running trust from an income rather an overall mandate - and got caught out by Brexit & Covid-19. Also value rather than growth investing has been found wanting given US Bull run. Mngr is clearly knowledgable & competent but wasnt prepared to change his style/conviction which served him well before but couldnt adapt to changing circumstances.

Food for thought.

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