Crowning glories: the 36 investment companies launched before King Charles was born

Dunedin Income Growth and Scottish American mark 150th anniversaries this year.

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To celebrate the coronation of King Charles III, the Association of Investment Companies (AIC) has published a list of the 36 investment companies that were established before the King was in his cradle.

The extraordinary longevity of investment companies is underlined by the 150th anniversaries of Dunedin Income Growth and Scottish American (commonly referred to as SAINTS), which respectively fell in February and March this year.

In addition, Murray Income is due to celebrate its centenary this year, having been founded in June 1923.

A full table of the 36 investment companies that were established before the King was born on 14 November 1948 can be found below.

Annabel Brodie-Smith, Communications Director of the Association of Investment Companies (AIC), said: “Investment companies are a 19th century invention that remains just as relevant in the 21st century, giving ordinary investors access to the frontier markets of the day and enabling them to spread their investment across a diversified portfolio of assets. As we celebrate King Charles’s coronation, it’s reassuring to think that one in ten investment companies that are around today were launched before he was born.”

“There could scarcely be a more respected or more enduring institution than the British monarchy. The same could very much be said of UK investment companies, which have not just proved steadfast throughout King Charles’s life but have delivered rewarding investment returns since the middle years of Queen Victoria’s reign. Investment companies – or investment trusts as they are sometimes still called – are unquestionably the jewel in our financial crown.”

John Newlands, independent analyst and investment company historian

john newlands headshot

Dunedin Income Growth: remaining relevant over 150 years

David Barron, Chair of Dunedin Income Growth (DIG), said: “In its early years, DIG offered professional management and access to a portfolio of US bonds, principally fixed income securities issued by railroads. As investors increasingly sought growth and growth of income through the mid years of the last century, through a period of both wars and periods of high inflation, DIG reacted to focus much more on equity investment. More recently, DIG took powers to invest in non-UK equities to give greater scope to diversify the sources of income after BP’s dividend cut in 2010 following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Our ESG focus is an evolution of the strategy which had moved away from simply focusing on high yield, using the revenue reserves to give the managers greater flexibility, to an approach that focused on dividend growth and sustainability of the dividend.”

SAINTS: Weathering storms and setbacks

James Dow, Co-Manager of Scottish American (SAINTS), said: “SAINTS is 150 years old this year. Throughout its long history, SAINTS has been able to take advantage of opportunities to invest around the world and benefit from extraordinary economic and technological progress which in turn has driven capital and dividend growth for shareholders. SAINTS has proved very resilient, weathering many storms and setbacks, from the railroad boom and bust in the US in the 1870s to World Wars and tough periods of high inflation right up to the present day. Indeed, SAINTS hasn’t cut its dividend since the last coronation – 1938 was the last occasion. It is a case of income again and again.”

Murray Income: staying focused on costs and dividends

Neil Rogan, Chair of Murray Income, said: “Reducing costs to investors is rightly one of the industry’s concerns at the moment. We seek a gradual reduction of ongoing charges over time but the 2020 merger with Perpetual Income & Growth Investment Trust gave us the opportunity to make a step-change down to the current 0.50%. We were able to deliver about ten years’ worth of savings in one go.

“It’s also very important to maintain reliable dividend growth as well as pay a decent yield. It is literally our objective to provide a high and growing income, combined with capital growth. The current yield of 4.2% is high by most people’s standards and we expect to chalk up 50 consecutive years of growing the dividend this year.”

The 36 companies that were launched before King Charles’s birth

Company name

AIC sector

Launch date

10-year return
on £1,000

20-year return
on £1,000

30-year return
on £1,000

F&C Investment Trust






Investment Company

Flexible Investment





Dunedin Income Growth

UK Equity Income





Scottish American

Global Equity Income





JPMorgan American

North America





Mercantile Investment Trust

UK All Companies





Henderson Smaller Companies

UK Smaller Companies





JPMorgan Global Growth & Income

Global Equity Income





Alliance Trust






The Global Smaller Companies Trust

Global Smaller Companies





Merchants Trust

UK Equity Income





Edinburgh Investment Trust

UK Equity Income











AVI Global Trust






Law Debenture Corporation

UK Equity Income





City of London Investment Trust

UK Equity Income





abrdn Diversified Income & Growth

Flexible Investment





TR Property

Property Securities





BlackRock Smaller Companies

UK Smaller Companies





Baillie Gifford China Growth

China / Greater China





Murray International

Global Equity Income





Witan Investment Trust






Scottish Mortgage






Hansa Investment Company

Flexible Investment





Murray Income

UK Equity Income





Finsbury Growth & Income Trust

UK Equity Income





Temple Bar Investment Trust

UK Equity Income











JPMorgan Japanese






Monks Investment Trust






JPMorgan European Growth & Income






Shires Income

UK Equity Income





Canadian General Investments

North America





Henderson Far East Income

Asia Pacific Equity Income





3i Group

Private Equity





Henderson European Focus Trust






Source: / Morningstar (data to 18/04/23). * Data unavailable.


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Notes to editors

  1. The Association of Investment Companies (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 vision is for closed-ended investment companies to be considered by every investor. The AIC has 348 members and the industry has total assets of approximately £266 billion.
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