Fund Profile

Disclaimer

Disclosure – Non-Independent Marketing Communication

This is a non-independent marketing communication commissioned by Witan. The report has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and is not subject to any prohibition on the dealing ahead of the dissemination of investment research.

Overview
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Overview

Witan is a self-managed investment trust which aims to achieve growth in capital and income over the long term, through a portfolio of global equities.

The team follow a highly active multi-manager approach, using a range of third-party managers who run concentrated portfolios of 15 to 60 stocks. Currently there are ten managers in the portfolio, with allocation sizes and mandates being controlled by the board and executive team, led by Andrew Bell. Alongside this, the executive team are directly responsible for up to 12.5% of the portfolio, investing in specialist collective funds and smaller managers that could be larger constituents in the future.

Since adopting the multi-manager approach in 2004, the trust has performed strongly relative to peers and the benchmark. This has also been seen over the short term, although the current exposure to the UK and low exposure to FAANG stocks have been a slight headwind in the short term on a relative basis. Alongside capital appreciation, the trust offers investors a strong income stream. The trust has an enviable track record of 44 years of dividend increases, and over the past five years the trust has delivered triple the dividend growth of the average peer in the sector.

Over the past few years, the trust has traded on a narrow discount to NAV. The current discount of 3.8% is a little wider than in recent years, and the company is repurchasing shares on a regular basis.

Kepler View

For us, Witan continues to be one of the more attractive investment vehicles for investors searching for an actively managed equity global portfolio for both capital appreciation and income. Importantly, the way the portfolio is put together means that there is very little single-manager risk, making it an excellent ‘fire and forget’ trust for global exposure.

The trust boasts a strong long-term track record, and the executive team have a proven ability to identify strong managers for the trust’s allocations. In addition, the executive team have also added considerable value through the direct holdings portfolio over time.

Over ten years to the end of August 2019, Witan has achieved its goal in outperforming the returns of its composite benchmark. The income the trust offers is also not to be overlooked: Witan has raised the dividend significantly faster than the rate of inflation.

As a result, the trust has the fourth-highest yield in the global sector (2.3%), and one of the most impressive dividend growth records in the investment trust sphere. The company has increased its dividends for 44 consecutive years, and at a compound annual rate of 10.3% over the past five years, this is triple the peer group average. The most recent dividend is covered 1.5x by revenue reserves, giving investors confidence that this already impressive track record of dividend growth will be able to continue going forward.

bull bear
A well-defined and simple-to-understand investment approach means that investors can benefit from a diversified array of concentrated portfolios As a highly active global trust Witan may lack appeal for investors who want to do their own asset allocation
Since the change in strategy in 2004, the trust has delivered strong returns Due to poor performance in Q4, the trust was unable to outperform the benchmark in 2018
A reliable dividend, progressively growing for the past 44 years
Continue to Portfolio

Fund History

30 Mar 2022 You say tomato…
Do it yourself or put it into a global fund and leave it to the experts - our analyst debate the merits of each approach...
08 Dec 2021 Fund Analysis
Witan continues to adapt to a changing investment environment...
19 Aug 2021 Pandemic immunity
We ask which global equity trusts have outperformed through the different stages of the pandemic…
16 Jun 2021 A better class of travel*
Sharing many features of a traditional family office, investment trusts offer a sophisticated, cost effective solution for managing family wealth...
09 Jun 2021 Fund Analysis
A solid period of outperformance means WTAN is back in business...
16 Dec 2020 Fund Analysis
Witan has bounced back from Q1 2020, making the 7.6% discount potentially attractive…
07 Sep 2020 Fund Analysis
WTAN has had a challenging 2020, but a refreshed line-up of managers makes the 7.8% discount potentially attractive…
03 Dec 2019 Fund Analysis
Highly active multi-manager approach offering a ‘one-stop shop’ for capital appreciation and income…
23 Oct 2019 Sail away: the best trusts to escape the UK
We look under the hoods of Global sector trusts to see which offer the best diversification prospects for UK investors...
15 Apr 2019 Fund Analysis
Witan follows a highly active ‘manager of managers’ approach, using a range of third-party managers to gain exposure to global equity markets...
26 Jul 2018 Fund Analysis
This well known global generalist has been hurt by its UK exposure this year as the Brexit debacle trundles on...
25 Jul 2018 The Endurance Growth Portfolio
The purpose of the Endurance Growth Portfolio is to generate long-term capital growth with a bias towards quality and defensive characteristics...
14 Dec 2017 Race to the bottom
Ahead of the new PRIIPS rules we examine the progress investment trust boards are making in reducing costs...
24 May 2017 Fund Analysis
12 Jul 2016 Fund Analysis
12 Jul 2016 Taking the bull by the horns
We examine the boards which have done most to fight for their shareholders' interests in an unforgiving arena...
12 Jul 2016 Anarchy in the UK
We collate the reactions of the City's leading investment companies analysts in the wake of the EU referendum...
20 Apr 2016 A wild ride for Endurance Growth
Our long term growth model portfolio has had a white knuckle ride since launch in July...
19 Apr 2016 Fund Analysis
19 Apr 2016 Brexit discount slump is a buying opportunity
Analysts believe a sharp bounce is likely if the public comes down in favour of a 'remain' vote.
15 Mar 2016 First class trusts at knockout discounts
A fire-sale by a fund of investment trusts dumping assets worth more than £650m is good news for discount hunters...
13 Oct 2015 Analyst
Our roundup of the experts' views sees light at the end of the mineshaft for BlackRock World Mining, and a return to form for Harry Nimmo...
07 Sep 2015 RIT Cap stands out amid market chaos
RIT Capital, the most risk averse member of The Endurance Growth Portfolio, has eked out a positive return against a backdrop of plunging markets this summer
07 Jul 2015 Fund Analysis
10 Jun 2015 The Endurance Growth Portfolio
Five investment trusts with outstanding long-term growth prospects
View all

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