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Half of investment companies managed by the same fund manager for more than 10 years

8 July 2019

10% managed by the same person for more than 20 years.

Theresa May announced her resignation as Conservative Party leader on 7 June having been appointed nearly three years before. However, 21 British Prime Ministers had even shorter tenures, including Gordon Brown, Neville Chamberlain and George Canning, who was Prime Minister for just four months in 1827. With a change of leader expected, the Association of Investment Companies (AIC) has examined the tenure of investment company managers. It finds that half of investment companies have been managed by the same person for 10 years or more.

Out of all AIC member investment companies (ex VCTs) with a track record of 10 years or more,
94 companies (50%) have been managed by at least one of their current fund managers for 10 years or longer. Whilst this is impressive, several managers have track records stretching back much further than that: 19 companies (10%) have been managed by the same manager for over 20 years.

Longest-serving managers

The investment company industry’s longest-serving manager is Peter Spiller, who has managed Capital Gearing for over 37 years. Following close behind is Simon Knott, manager of Rights & Issues for 35 years. Next longest-serving is Hugh Young, who has helped manage Aberdeen New Dawn since its launch 30 years ago. Hot on their heels are James Henderson, manager of Lowland for over 29 years and Richard Newbery and Alistair Whyte, managers of Aberforth Smaller Companies for over 28 years.

Quotes from Peter Spiller, Hugh Young and James Henderson on the lessons they’ve learned and their proudest moments follow below, as well as a complete table of the longest-serving managers.

Annabel Brodie-Smith, Communications Director of the Association of Investment Companies (AIC), said: “Investors are often told they should be thinking long-term, so it’s reassuring to see that so many investment companies have managers with impressively long records. Half of AIC members have had the same manager for at least ten years, and many have had the same manager for much longer. With markets always unpredictable, it’s reassuring for investors that many investment company managers have steered their company through different conditions, experiencing good times and bad.

“Since last year, we’ve seen an additional 13 fund managers celebrate a 10-year anniversary of managing their investment company. With the structural benefits of investment companies, such as not having to deal with inflows and outflows, it’s easy to see why managers might enjoy working on investment companies for long periods.”

Manager quotes: most important lesson learned

Peter Spiller, Manager of Capital Gearing, said: “It is hard to pinpoint a single lesson that will endure: politics, markets, and economies are continuously evolving. No one rule, no one approach, can hope to serve you well over the long term. You must learn to adapt.

“Nevertheless, the old stock market saying – that equities climb by the stairs but go down by the elevator – is very true. It is important for managers never to become complacent after a long period of steady gains.

“The unsustainable will not be sustained but it can take surprisingly long for the inevitable to happen. Excessive debt, high valuations and negative interest rates are all things that, for the time being, meet this description.”

James Henderson, Co-manager of Lowland Investment Company, said: “A key feature of the investment trust structure is the independent board of directors and one of the most important things I’ve learned over my career is the value of the board. The role of the board is to act on behalf of shareholders’ interests, but I’ve also found working with the board to be incredibly beneficial to how I manage money. Over my tenure managing Lowland Investment Company, I have worked with four different chairmen who have each brought their own unique insights to the trust and, at times, tested me as a manager to ensure we get the best for shareholders. Their investment insights and support in the good times – as well as the bad – adds real value.”

Hugh Young, Investment Manager on Aberdeen New Dawn, said: “I’ve been fortunate to be involved with the management of New Dawn since launch, but its success has been truly a team effort. Members of the current team have been involved with the trust for almost 20 years and longer. The longevity and tenure of the team when combined with new people joining, has been crucial. We’ve learnt lessons from past experiences whilst new members of the team have brought fresh perspectives. I hope that the young talent we have coming through in Asia means that the trust will continue to benefit from a mix of young and old heads over the next 30 years.”

Best moment as a manager

James Henderson, Co-manager of Lowland Investment Company, said: “I remember this quite clearly, as it was only a couple of years after I was appointed manager of Lowland. It was in 1992 when the UK left the ERM (Exchange Rate Mechanism). Some might think this a strange moment to pick as one of the best moments, but before we left the ERM businesses in the UK were struggling with high interest rates and sterling and our exit caused interest rates to be cut and sterling to fall, which boosted the UK economy. Throughout this whole period we stuck with the UK and our domestic investments, which was the right thing to do because the boost in the UK economy following our ERM exit gave a real boost to our portfolio. Ironically, we’re now living through a time where the opposite seems to be occurring and trying to break away from the EU is causing suffering to the UK economy, but if we don’t have a hard Brexit there is substantial upside in UK equities.”

Peter Spiller, Manager of Capital Gearing, said: “I had a moment of satisfaction when, earlier this summer, the share price of Capital Gearing reached £42.50 which was exactly 200 times the share price when I took over managing the trust in 1982.”

What keeps you motivated?

James Henderson, Co-manager of Lowland Investment Company, said: “I think it’s important to be aligned with shareholders. When I was appointed manager of Lowland in 1990, I bought shares in the company at £1.70 a share and I’ve added to my personal holding a few times since then. Lowland’s current share price is around £13.50 and in our most recent half-year report the board announced it intends to pay total dividends of around 59p for the year. I not only manage the portfolio for Lowland but have ‘skin in the game’ too, so I understand the importance of continuing to grow both capital and income and am motivated to keep achieving this for our shareholders over the long term.”

Peter Spiller, Manager of Capital Gearing, said: “The extraordinary, not to say, distorted nature of the world economy is an endless source of fascination.”

Longest-serving managers (AIC members, ex VCTs) at end June 2019

Company name

AIC sector

Manager name

Effective

Time

Capital Gearing

Flexible Investment

Peter Spiller

01/01/1982

37 years 5 months

Rights & Issues

UK Smaller Companies

Simon Knott

01/01/1984

35 years 5 months

Aberdeen New Dawn

Asia Pacific

Hugh Young

12/05/1989

30 years 1 month

Lowland

UK Equity Income

James H Henderson

01/01/1990

29 years 5 months

Aberforth Smaller Companies

UK Smaller Companies

Richard M J Newbery

10/12/1990

28 years 6 months

Aberforth Smaller Companies

UK Smaller Companies

Alistair J Whyte

10/12/1990

28 years 6 months

City of London

UK Equity Income

Job Curtis

01/07/1991

27 years 11 months

Mercantile

UK All Companies

Martin Hudson

01/01/1994

25 years 5 months

Herald

Global Smaller Companies

Katie Potts

16/02/1994

25 years 4 months

JPMorgan Emerging Markets

Global Emerging Markets

Austin Forey

01/06/1994

25 years 0 months

Aberdeen Standard Asia Focus

Asia Pacific Smaller Companies

Hugh Young

19/10/1995

23 years 8 months

Schroder AsiaPacific

Asia Pacific

Matthew Dobbs

20/11/1995

23 years 7 months

British & American

UK Equity Income

Jonathan Woolf

03/01/1996

23 years 5 months

Atlantis Japan Growth

Japanese Smaller Companies

Edwin C Merner

10/05/1996

23 years 1 month

Atlantis Japan Growth

Japanese Smaller Companies

Taeko Setaishi

10/05/1996

23 years 1 month

JPMorgan European Growth

Europe

Stephen Macklow-Smith

01/01/1997

22 years 5 months

BMO Capital & Income

UK Equity Income

Julian Cane

01/03/1997

22 years 4 months

JPMorgan Indian

Country Specialist: Asia Pacific - ex Japan

Rukhshad Shroff

01/01/1998

21 years 5 months

JPMorgan Smaller Companies

UK Smaller Companies

Georgina Brittain

02/01/1998

21 years 5 months

JPMorgan European Smaller Companies

European Smaller Companies

Francesco Conte

01/11/1998

20 years 7 months

Chelverton UK Dividend

UK Equity Income

David Horner

12/05/1999

20 years 1 month

Perpetual Income & Growth

UK Equity Income

Mark Barnett

01/07/1999

19 years 11 months

BMO Private Equity Private Equity Hamish Mair 01/02/2000
 
19 years 5 months

Scottish Mortgage

Global

James K. Anderson

01/04/2000

19 years 2 months

JPMorgan Japanese

Japan

Shoichi Mizusawa

25/07/2000

18 years 11 months

BlackRock World Mining

Commodities & Natural Resources

Evy Hambro

01/09/2000

18 years 9 months

Independent Investment Trust

UK All Companies

Maxwell Ward

18/10/2000

18 years 8 months

Jupiter European Opportunities

Europe

Alexander Darwall

22/11/2000

18 years 7 months

Finsbury Growth & Income

UK Equity Income

Nick Train

11/12/2000

18 years 6 months

HgCapital

Private Equity

Nic Humphries

01/01/2001

18 years 5 months

Jupiter US Smaller Companies

North American Smaller Companies

Robert Siddles

01/01/2001

18 years 5 months

Lindsell Train

Global

Nick Train

22/01/2001

18 years 5 months

Invesco Enhanced Income

Debt - Loans & Bonds

Paul Read

01/02/2001

18 years 4 months

Invesco Enhanced Income

Debt - Loans & Bonds

Paul Causer

01/02/2001

18 years 4 months

International Biotechnology

Biotechnology & Healthcare

Kate Bingham

01/05/2001

18 years 1 month

Aberforth Smaller Companies

UK Smaller Companies

Euan R MacDonald

14/05/2001

18 years 1 month

JPMorgan Russian Securities

Country Specialist: Europe - ex UK

Oleg Biryulyov

09/01/2002

17 years 5 months

Impax Environmental Markets

Environmental

Bruce Jenkyn-Jones

22/02/2002

17 years 4 months

Impax Environmental Markets

Environmental

Jon Forster

22/02/2002

17 years 4 months

Pantheon International

Private Equity

Andrew Lebus

31/07/2002

16 years 10 months

Temple Bar

UK Equity Income

Alastair Mundy

01/08/2002

16 years 10 months

Henderson Smaller Companies

UK Smaller Companies

Neil Hermon

01/11/2002

16 years 7 months

Schroder UK Mid Cap

UK All Companies

Andy Brough

30/04/2003

16 years 2 months

City Merchants High Yield

Debt - Loans & Bonds

Paul Read

01/05/2003

16 years 2 months

City Merchants High Yield

Debt - Loans & Bonds

Paul Causer

01/05/2003

16 years 2 months

Artemis Alpha Trust

UK All Companies

John Dodd

01/06/2003

16 years 0 months

Law Debenture Corporation

UK Equity Income

James H Henderson

01/06/2003

16 years 0 months

Bankers

Global

Alex Crooke

01/07/2003

15 years 11 months

Standard Life UK Smaller Companies

UK Smaller Companies

Harry Nimmo

01/09/2003

15 years 9 months

EP Global Opportunities

Global

Sandy Nairn

15/12/2003

15 years 6 months

Miton Global Opportunities

Flexible Investment

Nick Greenwood

06/04/2004

15 years 2 months

Murray International

Global Equity Income

Bruce Stout

16/06/2004

15 years 0 months

Ruffer Investment Company

Flexible Investment

Steve Russell

08/07/2004

14 years 11 months

Schroder Real Estate

Property - UK Commercial

Duncan Owen

15/07/2004

14 years 11 months

Schroder Real Estate

Property - UK Commercial

Nick Montgomery

15/07/2004

14 years 11 months

BlackRock Greater Europe

Europe

Sam Vecht

20/09/2004

14 years 9 months

Aberdeen New India

Country Specialist: Asia Pacific - ex Japan

Kristy Fong

09/12/2004

14 years 6 months

BMO Commercial Property

Property - UK Commercial

Richard Kirby

17/03/2005

14 years 3 months

Biotech Growth

Biotechnology & Healthcare

Richard Klemm

19/05/2005

14 years 1 month

Biotech Growth

Biotechnology & Healthcare

Geoffrey Hsu

19/05/2005

14 years 1 month

Brunner

Global

Lucy MacDonald

30/06/2005

13 years 11 months

JPEL Private Equity

Private Equity

Troy Duncan

30/06/2005

13 years 11 months

JPEL Private Equity

Private Equity

Gregory Getschow

30/06/2005

13 years 11 months

JPMorgan American

North America

Eytan Shapiro

01/07/2005

13 years 11 months

JPMorgan Chinese

Country Specialist: Asia Pacific - ex Japan

Howard Wang

01/07/2005

13 years 11 months

Invesco Income Growth

UK Equity Income

Ciaran Mallon

28/07/2005

13 years 11 months

Schroder Oriental Income

Asia Pacific Income

Matthew Dobbs

28/07/2005

13 years 11 months

BMO Global Smaller Companies

Global Smaller Companies

Peter Ewins

31/07/2005

13 years 10 months

JPMorgan European Income

Europe

Stephen Macklow-Smith

02/08/2005

13 years 10 months

JPMorgan European Income

Europe

Michael Barakos

02/08/2005

13 years 10 months

JPMorgan European Income

Europe

Alexander Fitzalan Howard

02/08/2005

13 years 10 months

Chelverton UK Dividend

UK Equity Income

David Taylor

01/12/2005

13 years 6 months

JPMorgan Indian

Country Specialist: Asia Pacific - ex Japan

Rajendra Nair

01/01/2006

13 years 5 months

JPMorgan Chinese

Country Specialist: Asia Pacific - ex Japan

Shumin Huang

02/01/2006

13 years 5 months

JPMorgan Elect Managed Cash

Liquidity Funds

Katy Thorneycroft

01/02/2006

13 years 4 months

JPMorgan Elect Managed Growth

Global

Katy Thorneycroft

01/02/2006

13 years 4 months

Marwyn Value Investors

UK Smaller Companies

James Corsellis

22/02/2006

13 years 4 months

Marwyn Value Investors

UK Smaller Companies

Mark Watts

22/02/2006

13 years 4 months

Polar Capital Technology

Technology & Media

Ben Rogoff

01/05/2006

13 years 2 months

JPMorgan European Growth

Europe

Alexander Fitzalan Howard

04/05/2006

13 years 1 month

Merchants

UK Equity Income

Simon Gergel

01/06/2006

13 years 0 months

Macau Property Opportunities

Property - Rest of World

Martin Tacon

05/06/2006

13 years 0 months

Jupiter Green

Environmental

Charles Thomas

08/06/2006

13 years 0 months

Middlefield Canadian Income Trusts

North America

Dean Orrico

06/07/2006

12 years 11 months

JPMorgan Chinese

Country Specialist: Asia Pacific - ex Japan

Emerson Yee Shun Yip

01/08/2006

12 years 10 months

Standard Life Investments Property Income

Property - UK Commercial

Jason Baggaley

13/09/2006

12 years 9 months

Murray Income

UK Equity Income

Charles Luke

03/10/2006

12 years 8 months

International Biotechnology

Biotechnology & Healthcare

Ailsa Craig

01/11/2006

12 years 7 months

Aberdeen Japan

Japan

Chern-Yeh Kwok

10/11/2006

12 years 7 months

Volta Finance

Debt - Structured Finance

Alexandre Martin-Min

15/12/2006

12 years 6 months

Acorn Income

UK Equity & Bond Income

Paul Smith

05/01/2007

12 years 5 months

Henderson Opportunities

UK All Companies

James H Henderson

24/01/2007

12 years 5 months

Henderson Far East Income

Asia Pacific Income

Michael Kerley

02/02/2007

12 years 4 months

Allianz Technology

Technology & Media

Walter Price

01/05/2007

12 years 2 months

Real Estate Credit Investments

Property - Debt

Richard Lang

25/06/2007

12 years 0 months

Henderson Diversified Income

Debt - Loans & Bonds

John Pattullo

18/07/2007

11 years 11 months

Henderson Diversified Income

Debt - Loans & Bonds

Jenna Barnard

18/07/2007

11 years 11 months

Third Point Offshore Investors

Hedge Funds

Daniel S. Loeb

20/07/2007

11 years 11 months

Third Point Offshore Investors

Hedge Funds

Munib Islam

20/07/2007

11 years 11 months

Third Point Offshore Investors

Hedge Funds

Brad Radoff

20/07/2007

11 years 11 months

Third Point Offshore Investors

Hedge Funds

Neel Devani

20/07/2007

11 years 11 months

Third Point Offshore Investors

Hedge Funds

Timothy S. Lash

20/07/2007

11 years 11 months

Third Point Offshore Investors

Hedge Funds

Brigitte M. Roberts

20/07/2007

11 years 11 months

Third Point Offshore Investors

Hedge Funds

Jim Carruthers

20/07/2007

11 years 11 months

Third Point Offshore Investors

Hedge Funds

Jeff Perry

20/07/2007

11 years 11 months

Third Point Offshore Investors

Hedge Funds

Rob Schwartz

20/07/2007

11 years 11 months

Gulf Investment

Global Emerging Markets

Leonard O'Brien

31/07/2007

11 years 11 months

Edinburgh Dragon

Asia Pacific

Adrian Lim

31/08/2007

11 years 9 months

Volta Finance

Debt - Structured Finance

Francois Touati

01/10/2007

11 years 8 months

Volta Finance

Debt - Structured Finance

Serge Demay

01/10/2007

11 years 8 months

Princess Private Equity Holding

Private Equity

Rene Biner

01/11/2007

11 years 7 months

Princess Private Equity Holding

Private Equity

Marcel Erni

01/11/2007

11 years 7 months

Princess Private Equity Holding

Private Equity

Alfred Gantner

01/11/2007

11 years 7 months

Princess Private Equity Holding

Private Equity

Philipp Gysler

01/11/2007

11 years 7 months

Princess Private Equity Holding

Private Equity

Walter Keller

01/11/2007

11 years 7 months

Princess Private Equity Holding

Private Equity

Sandra Pajarola

01/11/2007

11 years 7 months

Princess Private Equity Holding

Private Equity

Christoph Rubeli

01/11/2007

11 years 7 months

JPMorgan Japanese

Japan

Nicholas Weindling

12/11/2007

11 years 7 months

CQS New City High Yield

Debt - Loans & Bonds

Ian Francis

30/11/2007

11 years 7 months

VinaCapital Vietnam Opportunity

Country Specialist: Asia Pacific - ex Japan

Andy An Ho

01/01/2008

11 years 5 months

JPMorgan Elect Managed Income

UK Equity Income

John Baker

01/03/2008

11 years 4 months

BMO Managed Portfolio Growth

Flexible Investment

Peter Hewitt

16/04/2008

11 years 2 months

BMO Managed Portfolio Income

Flexible Investment

Peter Hewitt

16/04/2008

11 years 2 months

Crystal Amber

UK Smaller Companies

Jonathan Marsh

17/06/2008

11 years 0 months

Crystal Amber

UK Smaller Companies

Richard Bernstein

17/06/2008

11 years 0 months

Blue Planet Investment Trust

Global High Income

Kenneth Murray

18/06/2008

11 years 0 months

JZ Capital Partners

Flexible Investment

David W Zalaznick

01/07/2008

10 years 11 months

JZ Capital Partners

Flexible Investment

Jay Jordan

01/07/2008

10 years 11 months

Baring Emerging Europe

European Emerging Markets

Matthias Siller

01/12/2008

10 years 6 months

Personal Assets

Flexible Investment

Sebastian Lyon

03/03/2009

10 years 3 months

NB Private Equity Partners

Private Equity

Anthony D. Tutrone

13/03/2009

10 years 3 months

NB Private Equity Partners

Private Equity

John P. Buser

13/03/2009

10 years 3 months

NB Private Equity Partners

Private Equity

Brien P. Smith

13/03/2009

10 years 3 months

NB Private Equity Partners

Private Equity

David S. Stonberg

13/03/2009

10 years 3 months

NB Private Equity Partners

Private Equity

Jonathan D. Shofet

13/03/2009

10 years 3 months

NB Private Equity Partners

Private Equity

John H. Massey

13/03/2009

10 years 3 months

NB Private Equity Partners

Private Equity

Joana Rocha Scaff

13/03/2009

10 years 3 months

JPMorgan US Smaller Companies

North American Smaller Companies

Don San Jose

01/05/2009

10 years 2 months

Artemis Alpha Trust

UK All Companies

Adrian Paterson

01/07/2009

10 years 0 months

Source: Morningstar

-Ends-

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Notes

  1. The percentage of investment companies that have had at least one manager for the last 10+ years is based on all AIC member investment companies that launched in June 2009 or before, excluding VCTs.
  2. 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 360 members and the industry has total assets of approximately £190 billion.
  3. 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.
  4. To stop receiving AIC press releases, please contact the communications team.

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