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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


AIC sector

Launch date

10th anniversary


Qatar Investment

Country Specialists: Other


Ashmore Global Opportunities

Global Emerging Markets


Aberdeen Frontier Markets

Global Emerging Markets


Henderson Diversified Income

Global High Income


Third Point Offshore Investors

Hedge Funds


BH Macro

Hedge Funds


HarbourVest Global Private Equity

Private Equity


Princess Private Equity Holding

Private Equity


NB Private Equity Partners

Private Equity


Aberdeen Private Equity

Private Equity


Taliesin Property

Property Direct - Europe


Ludgate Environmental*

Sector Specialist: Environmental


Henderson Opportunities

UK All Companies


F&C UK High Income

UK Equity & Bond Income


20th anniversary


JPMorgan Asian

Asia Pacific - Excluding Japan


Biotech Growth

Sector Specialist: Biotechnology & Healthcare


North American Income

North America



UK All Companies


30th anniversary


Schroder Asian Total Return

Asia Pacific - Excluding Japan


Pantheon International

Private Equity


Edinburgh Dragon

Asia Pacific - Excluding Japan


Dunedin Enterprise

Private Equity


70th anniversary


Henderson European Focus



90th anniversary


JPMorgan Japanese






110th anniversary


Witan Pacific

Asia Pacific - Including Japan


Murray International

Global Equity Income


130th anniversary


JPMorgan Global Growth & Income



Scottish Investment Trust



Henderson Smaller Companies

UK Smaller Companies


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


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  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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