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 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 - October 2019
In a continuation of the new theme identified last month, UK (-1.4%), European (-1.4%) and Asian (-0.6%) markets outperformed the more highly valued US market’s return of -2.7%. The relative strength of European markets (including the UK) was aided by the strength of Sterling and the Euro versus the Dollar as the risk of a hard Brexit receded as the month progressed. Asian markets also took heart from an improvement in the outlook for trade negotiations between the Trump administration (which appears keen to avoid tariffs exerting unnecessary damage on the US economy ahead of next year’s Presidential election) and the authorities in Beijing.
In September, the Board announced that it had reviewed its performance benchmark and, with effect from 01 January 2020, the new benchmark would be 15% UK (FTSE All Share) and 85% Global (FTSE All World). The effective UK component will be c.19% when accounting for the weight the UK represents within the Global index. The Global component represents an increase from 70% and a simplification from the current combination of four regional indices into one index which the Board believes will be easier for investors to monitor.
The Company’s portfolio will continue to differ (sometimes quite materially) from the benchmark’s composition and there is no compulsion to refocus the portfolio in line with the new geographic weightings. The portfolio’s exposure to companies listed in the UK is currently c. 28% and whilst, over the longer term, the range of investment opportunities in the UK may decline, the market appears to offer relative value, partly as a result of uncertainty generated by the prolonged Brexit negotiations.
At the end of October, an additional £23m (c. 1% of gross assets) was allocated to the mandate managed by Latitude Asset Management. Latitude operates under the Directly Held Investments ‘newly established managers demonstrating strong potential to add value’ category and has enjoyed a promising start to its relationship with Witan. We will continue to monitor their progress. This additional allocation brings the total invested with Latitude to c. £40m or 1.8% of gross assets.
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.