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John Newlands joins New City High Yield board

10 October 2017

Investment trust analyst takes on his first appointment as a non-executive director since retiring from wealth manager Brewin Dolphin in June.

Investment trust expert John Newlands has joined the board of CQS New City High Yield (NCYF), his first appointment as non-executive director since retiring from wealth manager Brewin Dolphin in June.

Newlands headed Brewin’s investment companies research for a decade after stints at Greig Middleton and Williams de Broë. He began his City career in 1995 after a career in the Royal Navy.

Jimmy West, chairman of the £234 million, Jersey-based bond and loan fund, welcomed Newlands. ‘The depth of his experience and expertise in the investment trust sector is universally recognised, and I look forward to all that he will bring to the board's deliberations as the company looks to build upon the success of recent years.’

Newlands, an admirer of NCYF manager Ian ‘Franco’ Francis, already owns 10,000 shares in the trust. At the start of this year he included it as one of his three income picks for the year, alongside Aberdeen Asian Income (AAIF) and Keystone (KIT) investment trusts.

Newlands said it was ‘a great privilege’ to join the board, which he said ‘valued long experience, have a cautious approach, and a very strong background in resources’.

‘I have a good deal of time for the trust and in the last two years I have been involved in corporate governance, and shareholder voting, and negotiation of fees, and those are all important topics,’ he said.

Newlands’ arrival coincides with other board changes with Adrian Collins, the chairman of Liontrust Asset Management who has served on the trust as a non-exec for over a decade, announcing he will step down at the next annual general meeting. In January Ian Cadby, former chief executive of Liberty Ermitage investment group, joined the board which will now have eight directors.

Newlands’ appointment came as the trust reported annual results showing a 16.1% total return in the portfolio for the year to 30 June. Francis told investors he was keeping NCYF ‘as diversified as possible’ given the volatile political environment and US Federal Reserve’s plan to unwind its post-crisis quantitative easing stimulus programme.

‘We continue to look at situations which provide the opportunity for both income and capital as much as we have in the past. We would expect these to be in sectors where we see an improving credit environment,’ Francis added.

NCYF pays four dividends a year and with a yield just over 7% is the highest yielding conventional trust in the AIC UK Equity & Bond Income sector. The company has grown payouts to shareholders every year since 2007 and at yesterday’s closing price of 62.5p stood at a 4% premium over their estimated net asset value, according to Morningstar data.

It is one of four trusts in the New City stable, alongside City Natural Resources High Yield (CYN), Golden Prospect Precious Metals (GPM) and Geiger Counter (GCL). New City Investment Managers merged with CQS, a US hedge fund manager, in 2007.

 

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