Is to achieve significant growth in our investors’ wealth by investing in global equity markets, using a multi-manager approach.
Is to achieve an investment total return exceeding that of the Company’s benchmark over the long term, together with growth in the dividend ahead of inflation.
We aim to select exceptional third party managers who are expected to outperform their assigned benchmarks. Most of the managers are not open for investment by UK individuals, or not on the same terms. They manage approximately 90% of Witan’s assets. The remaining assets are invested directly by Witan’s Executive team, which is also responsible for the management of gearing, under delegated guidelines from the Board.
Relative numbers may not add up due to rounding.
† Source: Morningstar / Witan / FTSE, total return includes the notional reinvestment of dividends.
‡ The Net Asset Value figures value debt at fair value and include the notional reinvestment of dividends.
# Witan’s benchmark is a composite of 15% FTSE All Share and 85% FTSE All World. From 01.01.2017 to 31.12.2019 the benchmark was 30% FTSE All-Share, 25% FTSE All-World North America, 20% FTSE All-World Asia Pacific, 20% FTSE All-World Europe (ex UK), 5% FTSE All-World Emerging Markets. From 01.10.2007 to 31.12.2016 the benchmark was 40% FTSE All-Share, 20% FTSE All-World North America, 20% FTSE All-World Europe (ex UK) and 20% FTSE All-World Asia Pacific. FTSE is a trade mark of the London Stock Exchange Group companies and is used by FTSE under license.
*Please remember, past performance is not a guide to future performance, and the value of shares and the income from them can rise and fall, so investors may not get back the amount originally invested.
Monthly Commentary - 31 May 2020
With countries around the world starting to lift lockdown restrictions, people are taking tentative steps towards a return to normality. This easing has allowed equity markets to continue their recovery as investors looked beyond the immediate economic consequences of Covid-19 to the recovery which will follow in due course. The rally, as with the fall, continues to discriminate between the winners and losers from the lockdown, in many cases exacerbating an established trend in favour of the US market (with its dominant technology companies) and other beneficiaries such as healthcare and consumer staples. Late in the month, however, there appeared to be a mild improvement in the fortunes of more cyclical industrial and financial stocks. Whilst this could yet be a false dawn, it is encouraging to see market performance starting to broaden away from the extremely narrow set of companies which have dominated returns so far this year. Indeed, for a stock market rally to become entrenched, it is preferable that it has broad foundations and is not limited to a handful of dominant companies.
As noted in recent updates, and despite two positive months, the Covid-19 crisis has been a difficult environment for Witan. The NAV total return over the year to date was -17.6% while the benchmark total return was -5.0%. The share price total return was -23.1%.
We also announced a further change to our manager line-up on 1 st June which is part of a longer-term evolution to reflect a more global, long-term opportunity set. As part of this process we took the decision to close our deep-value equity mandate managed by Pzena. Whilst the valuation differential between so-called value and growth stocks is at extreme levels, it is our belief that systemic deepvalue investing will become an increasingly challenged strategy as digitization, disruption (be it technological, fiscal or regulatory), ESG considerations and a more mindful consumer all put pressure on many of the industries which tend to inhabit the deep-value space. We retain the flexibility to own (as we do at present) value investments via managers who can buy companies at cheap valuations, which may be experiencing transitory headwinds or to take a long-term view on cyclical investment themes. This points to a greater use of stylistically neutral or adaptable managers able to take advantage of a rapidly changing economic and regulatory environment.
How to invest
Witan’s shares can be traded through any UK stockbroker and most share dealing services, including online platforms that
offer investment trusts.
A growing number of platforms offer investment trusts directly to retail investors.
Advisers who wish to purchase Witan shares for their clients can do so via a stockbroker or via a growing number of dedicated platforms.
This marketing communication is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as constituting an offer or a solicitation to buy or sell interests or investments in Witan Investment Trust plc. Any reference to individual securities does not constitute a recommendation to purchase, sell or hold the investment.
Please remember that past performance is not a guide to future performance. Witan Investment Trust is an equity investment. The value of an investment and the income from it can fall as well as rise as a result of currency and market fluctuations and you may not get back the amount originally invested. Investment trusts can borrow money to make additional investments on top of shareholders’ funds (gearing). If the value of these investments falls gearing will magnify the negative impact on performance. If an investment trust incorporates a large amount of gearing the value of its shares may be subject to sudden and large falls in value and you could get back nothing at all. The share price may trade above and below the NAV per share representing either a premium or discount to the share price respectively.
This marketing communication is issued and approved by Witan Investment Services Limited. Witan Investment Services Limited is registered in England no. 5272533 of 14 Queen Anne’s Gate, London, SW1H 9AA. Witan Investment Services Limited provides investment products and services and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Calls may be recorded for our mutual protection and to improve customer service.