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130 years young: Three investment companies celebrate 130 years since launch

11 April 2017

30 member companies celebrate significant anniversaries this year, with three reaching 130 years.

A significant milestone usually calls for celebration and in 2017 30 AIC member investment companies are celebrating an anniversary since their launch, with three marking an impressive 130 years.

In 1887, the same year in which Queen Victoria celebrated her Golden Jubilee by inviting 50 kings and princes to a banquet, JPMorgan Global Growth & Income, Scottish Investment Trust and Henderson Smaller Companies were launched. Please see the comments below on why these companies have stood the test of time and why they are still relevant for investors today.

Nigel Wightman, Chairman of JPMorgan Global Growth & Income said: “The Company was first formed in 1887 as The British Steamship Investment Trust Company and has evolved and adapted to meet the changing needs of its shareholders over the past 130 years. Until 1982 the Company was a general investment trust before adopting its current investment objective of seeking capital growth from world stock markets. In July 2016, the Board decided to move to a new distribution policy of returning 4% of NAV to shareholders, each year, through quarterly dividends. This policy seems to have been well received with renewed interest in the Company’s shares.

“As many investors continue to seek out investment opportunities which offer a reliable level of income alongside capital growth, we feel that the Company remains as relevant as ever and has a role to play in easing the burden of an ultra-low interest rate world. While the investment outlook is unquestionably mixed, the Board believes the Manager’s robust investment process and extensive internal research resources will continue to be able to identify attractively priced high quality companies in which to invest for our shareholders.”

Alasdair McKinnon, Manager, Scottish Investment Trust said: “The Scottish Investment Trust was founded to offer investors the opportunity to come together and acquire a more diversified portfolio of investments (with the potential for higher returns) than if they invested alone – a principal that still holds true today. But we have never stood still. The trust has evolved over the last 130 years as it has sought to remain relevant for its shareholders.

“Today, we still offer investors easy access to a diversified global portfolio and employ a high conviction, global contrarian approach. This offers investors genuine active management at a low cost, which we expect to deliver superior investment returns over the longer term for our investors.”

Neil Hermon, Manager, Henderson Smaller Companies said: “At the end of May 2017, Henderson Smaller Companies will have been investing for 130 years.  In its early days, the company was a Trustee business as well as being an investment trust. In 1999 the investment policy was refined to just UK Smaller Companies, which had always been the predominant part of the portfolio. I was appointed as portfolio manager in 2002 and since then have applied a consistent investment policy and process investing in UK smaller and medium sized companies.

“The UK is one of the world’s strongest performing economies including a wealth of small and medium sized companies with exposure to both the domestic and international markets.  Since my appointment in 2002, Henderson Smaller Companies has taken advantage of those opportunities and has delivered a 17% annualised net asset value total return per annum. Our view is that the opportunity to create shareholder value by investing in a selection of exciting growing smaller companies is as prevalent today as it has been over the last 15 years.

“Smaller companies should be able to achieve growth more easily than their larger counterparts, have typically higher operational leverage, more entrepreneurial management and can often deliver substantial growth in dividends for investors.  With a generally robust UK economy and improving global growth we would expect UK smaller companies to be an attractive place to invest.   This is especially the case because of a pickup in M&A activity, in particular from overseas corporates attracted to UK smaller companies by the weakness in Sterling, low interest rates and the ability to finance debt cheaply.”

There are also two companies celebrating 110 years since their launch, Witan Pacific and Murray International.

Annabel Brodie-Smith, Communications Director of the Association of Investment Companies said: “Investment companies are the oldest form of collective investment with the first investment company, Foreign & Colonial Investment Trust, launched in 1868 ‘to provide the investor of moderate means the same advantage as the large capitalist’. Investment companies have the same purpose today, allowing private investors to spread their investment risk, by holding a range of companies or other assets such as property and   infrastructure in one company.

“The investment company sector has weathered Two World Wars, The Great Depression, and numerous other booms and busts along the way.  It is a great testament to the sector that many of the investment companies have been around for such a long time and are still delivering excellent value to shareholders today.”

Investment company anniversaries in 2017

Company

AIC sector

Launch date

10th anniversary

   

Qatar Investment

Country Specialists: Other

31/07/2007

Ashmore Global Opportunities

Global Emerging Markets

12/12/2007

Aberdeen Frontier Markets

Global Emerging Markets

15/06/2007

Henderson Diversified Income

Global High Income

18/07/2007

Third Point Offshore Investors

Hedge Funds

20/07/2007

BH Macro

Hedge Funds

14/03/2007

HarbourVest Global Private Equity

Private Equity

06/12/2007

Princess Private Equity Holding

Private Equity

01/11/2007

NB Private Equity Partners

Private Equity

25/07/2007

Aberdeen Private Equity

Private Equity

09/07/2007

Taliesin Property

Property Direct - Europe

28/08/2007

Ludgate Environmental*

Sector Specialist: Environmental

01/08/2007

Henderson Opportunities

UK All Companies

24/01/2007

F&C UK High Income

UK Equity & Bond Income

01/03/2007

20th anniversary

   

JPMorgan Asian

Asia Pacific - Excluding Japan

12/09/1997

Biotech Growth

Sector Specialist: Biotechnology & Healthcare

23/06/1997

North American Income

North America

05/06/1997

Aurora

UK All Companies

14/03/1997

30th anniversary

   

Schroder Asian Total Return

Asia Pacific - Excluding Japan

26/11/1987

Pantheon International

Private Equity

18/09/1987

Edinburgh Dragon

Asia Pacific - Excluding Japan

07/09/1987

Dunedin Enterprise

Private Equity

01/04/1987

70th anniversary

   

Henderson European Focus

Europe

01/01/1947

90th anniversary

   

JPMorgan Japanese

Japan

02/08/1927

Brunner

Global

01/01/1927

110th anniversary

   

Witan Pacific

Asia Pacific - Including Japan

30/12/1907

Murray International

Global Equity Income

18/12/1907

130th anniversary

   

JPMorgan Global Growth & Income

Global

01/01/1887

Scottish Investment Trust

Global

27/07/1887

Henderson Smaller Companies

UK Smaller Companies

16/12/1887

*Please note this company is winding up.
Source: AIC

-Ends-

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Notes

  1. The Association of Investment Companies (AIC) was founded in 1932 to represent the interests of the investment trust industry – the oldest form of collective investment.  Today, the AIC represents a broad range of closed ended investment companies, incorporating investment trusts and other closed ended investment companies and VCTs.  The AIC’s members believe that the industry is best served if it is united and speaks with one voice. The AIC’s mission statement is to help Members add value for shareholders over the longer term. The AIC has 345 members and the industry has total assets of approximately £163 billion.
  2. Disclaimer: The information contained in this press release does not constitute investment advice or personal recommendation and it is not an invitation or inducement to engage in investment activity. You should seek independent financial and, if appropriate, legal advice as to the suitability of any investment decision. Past performance is not a guide to future performance.  The value of investment company shares, and the income from them, can fall as well as rise.  You may not get back the full amount invested and, in some cases, nothing at all.

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Media enquiries

Annabel Brodie-Smith
Communications Director
Tel: 020 7282 5580
annabel.brodie-smith@theaic.co.uk
@annabelbrodies
@aicpress

Laura Thomas
PR & Marketing Executive
Tel: 020 7282 5551
laura.thomas@theaic.co.uk
@aicpress