Throgmorton trims losses via shorts

BlackRock Throgmorton Trust invests in UK mid- and small-cap companies for long-term growth and attractive total returns.

BlackRock Throgmorton Trust (THRG) invests in UK mid- and small-cap companies for long-term growth and attractive total returns. Its annual report for the year to 30 November 2018 shows shareholders’ assets of £380 million.

Unusually, the trust combines a traditional long-only portfolio of UK equities with a portfolio of contracts for difference (CFD). The CFD portfolio can equal up to 30% of net assets and has the potential to add value in falling as well as rising markets. There are no limits on THRG’s Aim exposure and up to 15% of gross assets can be invested in non-UK listed companies.

Dan Whitestone became THRG’s sole manager in February 2018, having managed its CFD portfolio since April 2015, and now heads BlackRock’s UK smaller companies team. He has a growth-biased investment style.

At end November 2018 he had concentrated THRG’s long-only portfolio down to 98 holdings and adopted a relatively defensive position . Helped by a 1.4% return on its short book, THRG’s net asset value total return losses last year were only 2.7% compared to the 9% fall from its benchmark, the Numis Smaller Companies plus Aim (excluding ICs) index. With the discount tightening to 12%, share price total returns were 1.8%.

As a result, THRG’s 10-year NAV and share price total returns were 579% and 832% respectively, compared to 281% for its benchmark and 157% for the FTSE All-Share index. Ongoing charges were 1.29%, including a performance fee.


BlackRock Throgmorton Trust

BlackRock Throgmorton performance graph


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