Queen’s Platinum Jubilee

Investment companies that have stood the test of time

queen royal

As the UK prepares to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee on Sunday 6 February, figures from the Association of Investment Companies (AIC) demonstrate that almost a quarter of investment companies by assets (£63 billion) were in existence at the time of the Queen’s accession to the throne some 70 years ago (see table of companies below). In fact, many investment companies have been around since the late nineteenth century and continue to thrive, demonstrating the sector’s durability.

Annabel Brodie-Smith, Communications Director, Association of Investment Companies (AIC), said: “It’s a testament to the investment company sector that 35 companies were around at the time of the Queen’s accession to the throne and are still delivering excellent long-term performance to shareholders.

“It’s reassuring for investors to see that over the last 70 years, investment companies have survived bouts of market turbulence including the 1973 to 74 crash, Black Monday in 1987, the dot-com boom and bust, the financial crisis and the pandemic. Since the first investment company launched in 1868, the industry has weathered two World Wars and the Great Depression.

“Investment companies have pioneered investing in a wide range of assets including emerging markets, renewable energy infrastructure and unquoted companies. They also have unique income advantages and the benefit of an independent board of directors to look after shareholders’ interests, qualities that stand them in good stead for the future.”

John Newlands, Founder of Newlands Fund Research and Investment Trust Historian, said: “Fads, fashions and arcane financial schemes have come and gone over the past 70 years and more – everything from precipice bonds to sub-prime mortgages to the bursting of the internet bubble 20 years ago. Investment companies have long been founded on stronger, indeed granite-like foundations, their robustness tracing to the geniuses who devised and launched them almost 150 years ago, including the legal giants Philip Rose and Lord Westbury and, north of the Scottish border, Robert Fleming, son of an impoverished mill worker in Dundee.

“Private investors, whether wealthy or of ‘moderate means’ should look no further than the most platinum investment opportunity of them all, namely the opportunity to place their savings in a spread of quality investment companies.”

Investment companies launched at least 70 years ago. All performance data is share price total return (SPTR) to 31 January 2022. Source: AIC using Morningstar.

Launch date

Company

Sector

SPTR 10yr % to 31/01/22

SPTR 20yr % to 31/01/22

SPTR 30yr % to 31/01/22

Total assets £m to 31/01/22

19 Mar 1868

F&C Investment Trust

Global

258.36

484.29

1,631.90

5,546.40

14 Nov 1868

Investment Company

Flexible Investment

115.51

145.32

1,870.61

16.67

01 Feb 1873

Dunedin Income Growth

UK Equity Income

139.30

275.28

989.61

506.97

31 Mar 1873

Scottish American

Global Equity Income

235.03

473.88

1,145.51

979.60

18 Jun 1881

JPMorgan American

North America

363.31

510.76

2,581.32

1,561.47

08 Dec 1884

Mercantile

UK All Companies

247.04

704.26

2,537.64

2,541.76

21 Apr 1887

JPMorgan Global Growth & Income

Global Equity Income

294.46

594.83

2,014.65

769.33

16 Dec 1887

Henderson Smaller Companies

UK Smaller Companies

407.19

828.65

1,253.67

1,034.96

13 Apr 1888

Bankers

Global

273.90

552.70

1,966.10

1,668.69

21 Apr 1888

Alliance Trust

Global

244.98

443.88

1,396.90

3,628.90

15 Feb 1889

BMO Global Smaller Companies

Global Smaller Companies

216.27

917.92

2,414.52

1,027.79

16 Feb 1889

Merchants

UK Equity Income

169.10

332.51

1,203.13

832.02

01 Mar 1889

Edinburgh Investment

UK Equity Income

103.94

278.45

789.91

1,319.04

01 July 1889

AVI Global

Global

189.36

676.53

3,090.51

1,252.76

12 Dec 1889

Law Debenture Corporation

UK Equity Income

234.53

586.50

2,250.20

1,176.05

01 Jan 1891

City of London

UK Equity Income

119.20

323.16

1,142.20

1,955.47

05 Jan 1898

Aberdeen Diversified Income & Growth

Flexible Investment

40.59

101.19

428.29

395.30

05 May 1905

TR Property

Property Securities

343.79

1,431.39

4,933.26

1,890.48

02 May 1906

BlackRock Smaller Companies

UK Smaller Companies

375.91

1,425.40

3,442.70

1,072.96

24 Jan 1907

Baillie Gifford China Growth

China / Greater China

113.52

370.63

454.61

225.81

18 Dec 1907

Murray International

Global Equity Income

93.57

573.96

1,488.72

1,768.85

17 Feb 1909

Witan

Global

255.37

405.14

1,427.19

2,125.92

17 Mar 1909

Scottish Mortgage

Global

800.11

1,996.68

5,985.41

17,775.60

01 Jan 1912

Hansa Investment Company (A share)

Flexible Investment

42.28

356.36

2,062.39

369.09

01 Jan 1912

Hansa Investment Company (Ord)

Flexible Investment

48.44

345.45

1,954.37

369.09

07 Jun 1923

Murray Income

UK Equity Income

115.77

318.87

1,133.68

1,213.74

15 Jan 1926

Finsbury Growth & Income

UK Equity Income

219.86

750.96

2,318.77

2,056.20

24 Jun 1926

Temple Bar

UK Equity Income

100.45

350.95

1,591.46

908.22

01 Jan 1927

Brunner

Global

259.30

422.30

1,372.28

527.32

02 Aug 1927

JPMorgan Japanese

Japan

274.98

291.13

323.47

1,026.75

06 Feb 1929

Monks

Global

282.36

612.47

2,163.12

3,000.98

15 Mar 1929

JPMorgan European Growth

Europe

217.44

386.92

1,377.47

325.89

31 Mar 1929

Shires Income

UK Equity Income

145.07

201.28

698.40

105.05

15 Jan 1930

Canadian General Investments

North America

257.26

923.56

4,612.11

1,344.61

30 May 1930

Henderson Far East Income

Asia Pacific Equity Income

85.98

571.29

1,637.03

456.13

01 January 1947

Henderson European Focus

Europe

273.03

604.51

3,172.89

363.83

 

-ENDS-

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Notes to editors

  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 360 members and the industry has total assets of approximately £277 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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