Smaller companies have long been hailed as a successful growth strategy over the long term but they come with their fair share of volatility. However, it’s not unusual now to see small-cap stocks being bought for their income yield as well as growth opportunities. Given the international nature of the UK mega-caps, is it now the case that small-caps are a better way to play the UK economy? Does the fixed capital structure of investment trusts mean a small-cap fund can stay true to its name at all times? This and more will be discussed by our panel of experts with their insights into successful investing in smaller companies.
Moderator: Brian Tora, The Tora Partnership;
- Georgina Brittain, Manager of the J.P. Morgan Smaller Companies Investment Trust
- Mike Prentis, Managing Director and Portfolio Manager of BlackRock Smaller Companies Trust
- Jackie Beard, Director of Closed-End Fund Research, Morningstar UK
- Ed Beal, Senior Investment Manager, Dunedin Smaller Companies Investment Trust PLC
RecordedMay 18 201159 mins
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Fees have come down, performance has once again been ahead of the open-ended sector and fund raising has been buoyant. We discuss the year in investment trusts, whether the sector is finally seeing the much-anticipated RDR bounce and whether some of the issues of investment trusts - such as the fund supermarket problem - are closer to a resolution.
Your panelists include:
Jackie Beard, Morningstar UK (moderator)
Justin Urquhart Stewart, 7IM
Jeremy Tigue, F&C Assest Management
The investment trust universe is becoming more diverse, enabling investors to incorporate some interesting and non-correlated assets into their portfolios. Among the trusts now available are litigation funds, floating rate note funds, loan funds, and diverse property trusts. Which have performed best? Which have proved to be a genuinely uncorrelated source of returns? Where do these alternatives funds fit in a portfolio?
Cherry Reynard (moderator)
Ben Hayward, TwentyFour Asset Management
Ian Barrass, Henderson
Much has been written and spoken about with regard to European elections, particularly in Germany. What will our expert panel make of the results, so far? What implications do they believe these results have for investors going forward into 2014?
This session is intended to help advisers understand the issues and challenges of new political landscapes in Europe and how it may impact on investment decisions. We will discuss and try to answer questions that may be of concern and relevance to you, the adviser.
· David Harris (moderator)
· Stephen Macklow-Smith, J.P. Morgan
· Jeremy Thomas, Allianz Global Investors
We review the latest developments in investment trusts - new launches, new issuance, funds closing and restructuring. We look at the bull and bear cases for the different trusts - and how they can serve a range of investor needs - income, diversity, growth.
The panel will also broaden this out into a wider discussion of the current market environment and how new issuance meets the needs of that environment - for example, the spike in bond yields, or the improving equity markets.
Moderator: Jackie Beard, Morningstar UK
John Yakas, Polar Capital
Robert Worthington, J.P. Morgan Asset Management
Why is it important to diversify an income portfolio? What are the challenges of income in a low interest rate environment? Is this likely to change? How is the investment trust industry adapting to investors' income needs? The investment trusts sector offers an increasingly wide range of options to build an income portfolio, including property, infrastructure and emerging market debt in this panel session the speakers explore all the options at your disposal.
Moderator David Harris, InvaTrust, will be joined by:
- Innes Urquhart, Winterflood Securities
- Alex Crooke, Henderson Global Investors Limited
- Ben Ritchie, Aberdeen Asset Management
The first six months of the year have seen a startling rise in equity markets in spite of the lack of any real improvement in the wider economic environment. But the gains have been focused on certain sectors and geographic regions, while areas such as commodities have significantly lagged. In this panel we ask the following questions of the markets:
• Is there still value in equity markets and if so, where?
• What will be the key pinch points for the markets in the second half?
• Which trusts are best equipped to generate strong returns in that environment?
Moderator: Szymon Idzikowski, Morningstar will be joined by:
- Peter Walls, Unicorn Asset Management
- Phil Doel, F&C Investments
- Bruce Stout, Aberdeen Asset Management
The investment trust industry is changing: Routes to market are becoming more effective, and platforms more receptive; charging structures are improving; discount mechanisms are modernising; and the structures of trusts themselves are changing. We talk about some of the innovations in the sector, analyse new launches and show how it is meeting the needs of investors.
- Cherry Reynard (moderator)
- Hugo Thorman, Ascentric
- James Saunders Watson, J.P. Morgan
- Annabel Brodie-Smith, The AIC
Investment trust managers tend to have a longer tenure than unit trust managers and this session looks to highlight the value of experience and longevity. Drawing out a number of the longest-serving managers in the industry and we ask them to share:
• Their accumulated wisdom on investment markets
• How their style and process have changed and adapted through different investment cycles
• Whether history does repeat itself, or merely rhyme?
• What have been the hardest markets to negotiate?
Complexity? Gearing? Lack of research? Platform pricing? Liquidity? Poor administration? We address some of the major issues and propose solutions in a live panel session where advisers will have the opportunity to question the experts on using investment trusts, asking them difficult questions on the structure. We also look at the knowledge requirements on investment trusts for advisers.
Moderator: David Harris, Invatrust
- James Robson, Plutus Wealth Management
- Adrian Lowcock, Hargreaves Lansdown
- Tony Yarrow, Wise Investment
- Roddy Kohn, Kohn Cougar
For advisers to remain independent, they must now having a working knowledge of investment trusts. A panel of financial advisers discuss how they approach investment trust due diligence, manage liquidity and handle discounts. This offers an opportunity for advisers to understand how their peer group approach investment selection and regulatory obligations in regard to investment trusts.
- Cherry Reynard (moderator)
- Gill Cardy, IFA Centre
- Andrew Merricks, Skerritt Wealth Management
- Ben Yearsley, Charles Stanley
In this live session a panel of experts will discuss the mood among investment trust managers/investors at the start of 2013 and asset allocation positioning. Where are the best opportunities to be found? Are there any areas likely to offer the seductive mix of rising asset values and narrowing discounts?
Conversely, which areas of the market now look fully valued and may struggle in 2013? The experts will share their views on the best investment opportunities for the year and how investment trusts can be used to take advantage.
- Cherry Reynard (moderator)
- Peter Hewitt, F&C Investments
- Andrew McHattie, The McHattie Group
- Simon Moore, Bestinvest
Investment trusts have some natural advantages: they can use gearing to maximise their exposure to a rising market and they can reserve income in stronger years to distribute in weaker years, for example. This makes them naturally suited to certain types of assets and markets. We will discuss the areas best-suited to investment trusts and why. For example, it might be UK for income or emerging markets for growth. In the interests of objectivity, we will also discuss the markets where investment trusts do not work as well. The discussion will also include a comparison with UCITS III and non-UCITS funds, the different type of powers they have, and where they might be more appropriate.
David Harris, InvaTrust (moderator)
Stephen Peters, Charles Stanley
Nick Wilcox, JP Morgan
John Pattullo, Henderson
Alex Barr, Aberdeen
Peter Hewitt, F&C
Multi-asset portfolios are the latest buzz-word in investment. They promise lower volatility with a smoother return profile than standard equity funds. Investment trusts offer all the tools to build a multi-asset portfolio, but often at lower cost and with less complexity. This session will explore how investors might go about building or enhancing a multi-asset portfolio with investment trusts. What types of assets are available? How can investors judge correlation? Where can they find true diversity? How can investors blend open-ended and closed-ended to ensure diversification?
Moderator David Harris of InvaTrust will lead the discussion alongside panelists:
•Olivia Mayell, J.P. Morgan Asset Management
•Nick Greenwood, MitonOptimal Multi Asset Management
Gearing is often presented as a stumbling block in investment trust due diligence. It can be difficult to pigeon-hole a trust into a certain risk category when gearing can range significantly, for example. This can be addressed with a proper understanding of gearing – different investment trusts use different types and with that comes different risks. The session will cover: The different types of gearing used; the markets in which it has been particularly effective; how the decision is made; how investors can analyse gearing; how geared investment trusts can be incorporated into traditional risk models.
Jackie Beard, Morningstar (moderator)
Simon Moore, BestInvest
Dennis Hall, Yellowtail
Peter Hewitt, F&C Investments
Ben Ritchie, Aberdeen Asset Management
It’s half way through the year and time to take a step back and look at the year so far. Which regions have been the winners and losers? Which now look over/under-valued, including which have the strongest discounts? What has driven markets? What news events have had the biggest impact on each area? Perhaps most importantly, which areas now look like the strongest areas for investment, particularly through investment trusts? Managers from each different region slug it out for the hearts and minds of investors.
David Harris, Invatrust (moderator)
Stephen Macklow-Smith, JP Morgan
Paul Atkinson, Aberdeen Asset Management
James Henderson, Henderson Global Investors
Dhiren Shah, BlackRock