Research_strapline

Are you an:

Don't let the labels put you off!
If you're not an investor, but you want to learn, you can select investor

×

Register for FundCalibre!

We just need to know
if you are an:

Don't let the labels put you off!
If you're not an investor, but you want to learn, you can select investor

×
Investment Trust

Lowland Investment Company

Elite Rated by FundCalibre

This trust aims to provide shareholders with a higher-than-average return, growing both capital and income over the medium to long term. It invests in predominantly UK companies of differing sizes. Normally no more than half of the trust, by value, will be in the largest 100 UK companies and the balance in small and medium-sized companies. Created in 1960, the Lowland Investment Company was listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1963 and has always been managed by Henderson Global Investors.

Investment Manager

Factsheet_janus_henderson_logo

Janus Henderson is the investment company employed to managed this trust. Created in May 2017 as the product of a merger between the Henderson Group and Janus Capital Group, the company trades on the New York and Australian stock exchanges.

The trust is managed jointly by James Henderson and Laura Foll. James has more than 30 years’ experience in investment management. He joined Henderson in 1983 as a trainee fund manager and began running the Lowland trust in 1990. He was appointed head of the global equity income team in 2003. Laura joined the Henderson in 2009 as part of their graduate scheme, working her way up the ladder to become a fund manager in 2014 and co-manage this trust in 2016.

Factsheet_james_henderson_-_lowland

The board of Lowland have been supportive at difficult times and questioning in the good times, which makes running the trust extremely rewarding.

James Henderson - Trust Manager

Investment Trust Board

Robbie Robertson became chairperson in January 2017, having served as a director since 2011. Robbie is also a director of several private companies and was previously chairperson of West China Cement and chief executive of Tarmac Group and Anglo American’s Industrial Minerals division. As of the company’s most recent year end (30 September 2016), the other board members are Duncan Budge, Kevin Carter, Karl Sternberg and (Susan) Gaynor Coley. Between them they have vast knowledge and experience in business and investment companies.

The Investment Process

James and Laura manage the trust in an unconstrained manner, which means they don’t pay attention to any particular benchmark. As contrarian investors, they look for undervalued, out-of-favour stocks and they are prepared to invest early and bide their time. James and Laura like stocks with the ability to produce surplus cash after all costs, sufficiently to maintain their dividends and over time increase them. There is no hard limit as to the size of companies in which they will invest, but their process naturally favours medium and smaller-sized companies, as they believe it’s these types of stocks that, in the long term, allow for higher dividend growth.

Risk

At least half of this fund is typically invested in medium and smaller-sized companies, which are inherently more risky than large cap stocks. However, there are normally around 120 stocks held in the portfolio, which helps to limit the negative impact if any one stock underperforms. The managers are first and foremost stock pickers, but they do try to take into account economic factors and this may sway them towards particular types of stocks or sectors. As a result, their outlook on economic development is another source of risk.

Gearing

The board are comfortable with the use of gearing by the managers. As a result, the trust is allowed to borrow money both short- and long-term to take advantage of exceptional investment opportunities. Under normal circumstances, the managers can gear up to 29.99% of value of the company after repaying all its debts and liabilities.

Share price discount/premium

The board do not have an official discount control mechanism in place, but they do not like to see the share price drift too far away from the net asset value (NAV) of the company and will therefore monitor the position and take action if necessary. However, in the last ten years (to 30 September 2016), the share price has traded in a range of minus 13.5% to a premium of 7.66% to NAV.

Our Opinion

James and Laura have built up an impressive track record over a long period, offering proof that their investment process is repeatable. The use of gearing has also benefited shareholders in the long run. This trust does tend to be more volatile than the UK stock market, as measured by the FTSE 100, but this additional volatility is adequately compensated for by the performance. This is a suitable trust for any investor seeking a reasonable level of income now, as well as long-term growth in income and capital.

  • Trust
  • Sector