Witan subs two global managers

Multi-manager fund Witan Investment Trust has replaced the managers on two of its global mandates in a bid to move towards more specialist, high conviction investors.

Southeastern Investment Management and Thomas White have been substituted by New York-based Pzena and Connecticut-based Tweedy Browne. 

The asset managers have received mandates of £145 million and £45 million respectively and will run them in line with their Global Expanded Value and Global High Dividend strategies. 

Pzena employs a 'deep value approach', Witan says, and manages $23.4 billion in assets. The company selects firms from within the best value fifth of the market and sells them when they rise above the market average valuation. 

The Expanded Value strategy holds a global portfolio of 60-90 stocks and seeks long-term alpha from investing in them.

Meanwhile, Tweedy Browne, is an investment company with almost 100 years of history.

'Although generally closed to new investment at this time, they have agreed to accept a modest allocation from Witan,' the investment trust says.

It will be invested in line with its Global High Dividend strategy, which holds approximately 40 stocks with an emphasis on secure and growing dividend yields. 

Together the mandates represent 13 per cent of the Witan Investment Trust portfolio and will be funded by the portfolios previously managed by Thomas White and Southeastern.

Andrew Bell, chief executive of Witan Investment Trust, says: 'These two appointments signal a continuation of our move towards investing more with specialist managers who have fundamentally-based and high-conviction approaches towards adding value through stock picking and portfolio construction.

'We would also like to thank Southeastern and Thomas White for their stewardship of the Company's assets over the past nine and six years respectively.' 

Witan has £1.4 billion in assets under management, making it one of the UK's largest investment trusts. It currently has 11 appointed managers, with Lindsell Train (UK), Veritas (global) and Artemis (UK) managing its three largest mandates. 

Analyst view

Investec's closed-ended research team said Pzena has recently concluded research looking at the annualised returns from low price to book quintiles versus the broad market index, comparing developed markets with emerging markets.

The company previously found within the US value tends to be cyclical, with cycles lasting approximately 10 years on average, and over a full cycle value tends to outperform the broader market by 4.8 per cent per annum.

It recently extended analysis to emerging markets and found value outperformed the broad market by 8 per cent per annum, Investec adds.

This story was written by our sister website www.iii.co.uk

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