Disclosure – Non-Independent Marketing Communication
This is a non-independent marketing communication commissioned by Momentum Multi-Asset Value Trust. 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.
The last twelve months have been marked by changes few of us could have imagined at the dawn of 2020. From the shift to homeworking to Zoom quizzes and always having a mask in your pocket, the way we live day-to-day is almost unrecognisable. Yet, not all these changes have been unwelcome. Many have benefitted from newfound flexibility in their working lives or have reconnected with old friends with an abundance of time on their hands.
A positive change has come for the investment trust formerly known as Seneca Global Growth & Income (SIGT) too. Following the acquisition of Seneca Investment Managers by Momentum Global Investment Management, the trust has become Momentum Multi-Asset Value Trust (MAVT). In this article, we are reintroducing you to the trust known for its ‘refined value’ approach.
The newly renamed MAVT will continue to aim to grow capital and income in real terms over the longer term, using investments in direct securities and third-party funds. Crucially, the trust’s four incumbent managers – who are remaining in post – will carry on employing their unique, value-influenced decision-making process to invest in a range of assets.
This process has encouraged the team to invest in sometimes out-of-favour asset classes or areas, with the potential to yield significant results. One such example is the trust’s allocation to the UK, which twelve months ago many investors would have considered inadvisable. Yet, in the first quarter of this year, this allocation has proved the making of the trust, significantly boosting its returns as the UK came back into favour.
However, where new investment ideas were previously sourced by the four managers alone, they will now have access to a 21-person investment team. These individuals all have their own experiences and sector specialities, bringing diversity of ideas and inspiration flowing into the trust. The trust, which already invested beyond equities, should benefit from a wealth of experience across the board, while still being managed by the same steady hands that have seen it consistently grow its dividend and capital over the last few years.
The combination of Seneca and Momentum makes sense. Both companies are experienced multi-asset investment houses, with Momentum currently having over £4bn in assets under management. But with Momentum’s considerably greater size, the acquisition also gives the management team at Seneca access to more technology through which to assess their investment options and more support from an operational standpoint.
A proven proposition
While these additional resources are helpful, they mean nothing without a strong investment foundation underlying them. Fortunately, in MAVT, investors have just that.
In particular, the trust has been a strong source of diversified income for investors in recent times. With equities in particular producing disappointing dividends, the trust’s managers have looked to specialist assets and fixed income to buoy its dividends, with solid results.
The trust’s board is also able to make use of the investment trust structure to support its income distribution, using revenue reserves from more abundant times to smooth its dividend over leaner periods. The net result has been that dividends have risen by 2.5% p.a. over the last five years, with the trust yielding c. 4%.
For a trust with a dual mandate – targeting income and growth – it is important to look at both sides of this coin, and the trust also has a solid track record on the growth side. Here, it is worth noting that the trust aims to achieve total returns of at least CPI +6% p.a. net of costs over a typical investment cycle. We calculated that, in the ten years to 26 March 2021, the trust achieved annualised returns of 9.1%. In the ten years to the end of February (the most recent published data), CPI was 1.7% on an annualised basis, meaning that the trust achieved an outperformance of 1.4% above its stated target.
A change is going to come
We already believed that MAVT (formerly SIGT) was an attractive, diversified source of yield, as described in our most recent research. With the depth and breadth of Momentum’s resources bolstering its investment team’s proven investment process, the attractions of this trust have been reinforced. A change certainly – but in our view one likely for the better.
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