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Investment Trust

TR Property Investment Trust

Elite Rated by FundCalibre

This trust invests in the shares of property companies of all sizes, typically within Europe and the UK. It will also have a small amount invested in physical property in the UK. Its managers look for well-run businesses in sectors including retail, office, residential and industrial property. The trust has a history dating all the way back to 1904, although it became a real estate specialist vehicle in 1982.

Investment Manager


The TR Property Investment Trust team is one of the largest pan-European real estate equity teams, with nine members and an average of 14 years’ experience apiece. Under the Bank of Montreal (BMO) Asset Management umbrella, they also run a number of other property portfolios and open-ended property equity funds.

Marcus Phayre-Mudge manages this trust and Alban Lhonneur assists as deputy. The pair also run the Elite Rated F&C Real Estate Securities fund, as both brands are owned by Bank of Montreal. Marcus is a qualified chartered surveyor and has a Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Land Management from Reading University. He has been involved in property investment since 1992. Alban’s career in property started in 2006, and his prior roles include equity research at Citigroup Global Markets Société Générale Securities.


Property is a fairly niche investment, but I like to remove the noise and keep things simple - the world is my investment universe and well-run property businesses are what I seek.

Marcus Phayre-Mudge - Trust Manager

Investment Trust Board

The five-member board is headed by Hugh Seaborn, who was appointed chairperson in 2016 and has served on the board since 2007. A chartered surveyor, Hugh has considerable experience in the property industry and is currently chief executive of the Cadogan Estate. He is also chairperson of the Knightsbridge Business Group. The remaining board members are Simon Marrison, Suzie Procter, John Glen and David Watson. The board meets six times per year and takes an active interest in protecting shareholders and ensuring the manager remains within the trust’s stated investment objective. The company’s year end is 31 March.

The Investment Process

Marcus has a structured but pragmatic process. He analyses how economic policies will affect property as an asset and individual property companies. He makes full use of all the members of his team to ensure every investment opportunity receives in-depth attention. Technically, the trust can invest anywhere in the world but, in practice, the focus—and the trust’s benchmark—is a pan-European index. Although the trust primarily buys property shares, the team will also have around 10% of the portfolio in physical property. This is so that they will always have first-hand information about the state of the market, without any third-party influence.


As mentioned, the trust invests primarily in property company shares and with only around 10% exposure to physical bricks and mortar. As a result, it is not only exposed to fluctuations in commercial property prices, but also to stock market volatility. However, the manager is highly experienced and his thorough investment process, along with the large number of stocks held (around 75), reduces the risk somewhat.


The maximum gearing allowed is 25% of the portfolio value. The board monitors this gearing to ensure it remains within the limits set and continues to be in the interest of shareholders. Gearing as at the last audited annual accounts (year ended 31 March 2016) stood at 12.1%.

Share price discount/premium

The share price does tend to trade at a discount to net asset value (NAV). In the last ten years (to 31 March 2016), the discount range has been between 2.4% and 15.9%.

Our Opinion

Marcus is a very experienced manager with a strong track record who has the benefit of a well-resourced and dedicated team. The trust’s share price tends to be volatile, but this volatility has been well rewarded by the returns achieved over the long term. Given its focus on property shares, the trust could make an excellent complement to a bricks and mortar portfolio. We do not see any reason why Marcus and his team cannot continue to deliver good long-term returns for shareholders.

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