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Fund Profile


This is a non-independent marketing communication commissioned by Allianz Global Investors. 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.

BUT has outperformed its composite benchmark for the fifth consecutive financial year…

Brunner (BUT) aims to provide investors with a balanced, all-weather global equity portfolio. Julian Bishop and Christian Schneider are the current stewards of the unchanged, bottom-up focussed investment strategy, which aims to balance quality, growth, and valuation characteristics to achieve both capital and income growth over the long term. Simon Gergel and James Ashworth are also part of BUT’s portfolio management team, with more support provided by the wider resources at Allianz Global Investors.

As discussed in Portfolio, three core secular growth trends form the foundations of the portfolio’s construction including artificial intelligence, travel, and healthcare. However, Julian and the team focus on identifying operationally robust businesses, with strong management teams, demonstratable competitive advantages, and superior long-term growth prospects. Valuations are a core component of the fundamental analysis which has seen them top slice from high-performing holdings to more pure-play value holdings, such as banks, in recent months. Historically, there has been a significant allocation to UK equities, currently 22%.

As discussed in Performance, the success of the strategy is reflected in BUT’s significant cumulative 35.3% outperformance of the global sector over the past five years (as of 22/04/2024), and fifth year of outperformance versus the composite benchmark—highlighting the merits of a core strategy in a market that has been driven by stylistic biases. This has been helped by the team’s consistent, yet cautious use of structural Gearing. In addition, BUT has managed to deliver 52 consecutive years of dividend growth (see Dividend).

In recent months the trust’s discount has narrowed to 5.1%—more than one standard deviation from its five-year average.

Analyst's View

In the words of BUT’s chair, Carolan Dobson, BUT has been “doing exactly what it says on the tin”, and we are inclined to agree. The consistency of the trust’s performance over what has been a volatile five-year period in financial markets demonstrates the trust’s all-weather characteristics. Although the macroeconomic environment looks to have stabilised, with rate cuts looking likely to come at the end of the year, the market’s expectations have declined, meaning that the wind may come out of the sails of growthier-focussed strategies. In our view, this highlights the benefits of a more balanced strategy that can provide some diversification across its most high-conviction holdings.

Although there has been a relatively high level of turnover amongst the trust’s management team over the past several years, with Juian Bishop and Christian Schneider at the helm we believe it is once again showing signs of stability. With the continued support from the highly experienced Simon Gergel, newer addition James Ashworth, and the wider Allianz GI investment team, we believe it provides the diversified sources of opinion which should lend itself to the balanced portfolio that has become synonymous with BUT.

Although BUT has seen its discount come in over the last six months, we believe there is scope for it to narrow from here given the additional resources being dedicated to increasing the visibility of the trust’s all-weather characteristics.


  • Consistent performance record
  • Balance between quality, growth, and value may provide stability in an uncertain environment
  • Diversified underlying holdings compared to peer group and global indices


  • High level of manager turnover over the past several years
  • Gearing can exaggerate downside, as well as enhance upside
  • Historically, the discount has traded at wider levels
Continue to Portfolio

Fund History

24 Apr 2024 Fund Analysis
BUT has outperformed its composite benchmark for the fifth consecutive financial year…
03 Jan 2024 Probably better asking an octopus
Our investment trust experts uncurl a tentacle each and choose their ‘top picks’ for 2024…
06 Oct 2023 Are you ready for your closeup?
We explain how the professionals go about building a peer group…
22 Aug 2023 Fund Analysis
BUT’s all-weather portfolio has consistently generated strong performance…
11 May 2023 Tipping point
Battered growth strategies have staged a comeback recently, but what happens now?
25 Jan 2023 Fund Analysis
BUT’s wider-than-average discount may present a buying opportunity, given its long-term consistent performance…
10 Nov 2022 Light at the end of the tunnel
Our speakers struck an optimistic note this week as we considered the prospects for investors at the end of a difficult year…
10 Nov 2022 Slides and Audio: Brunner
Download the presentation and listen to the audio from our webinar from 8 November...
17 Aug 2022 The world for sale
While investment trusts are lagging their open-ended cousins in the global sector, their discounts may provide an attractive entry point...
13 Jul 2022 Ready player one
We wonder where, if anywhere, should investors look for returns after a tumultuous first half of the year…
20 May 2022 Is it time to ditch index funds?
Averaging out makes sense in a boom market but may be much riskier in the future…
11 May 2022 Fund Analysis
BUT trades at an attractive discount despite ranking as one of the top-performing global equity trusts over the past 12 months…
15 Mar 2022 Do you have to sacrifice income for growth?
Brunner proves that investors don’t have to make a binary choice between the two…
10 Feb 2022 A healthy contribution
An aging planet and more spending on healthcare may put wind in the sails of Brunner’s portfolio…
02 Feb 2022 In safe hands
A decade long bull market and the seemingly unstoppable rise of tech stocks have made it easy to forget that good investing usually involves slow and steady gains…
19 Jan 2022 Apples and pears
We examine the relationship between the demand for open- and closed-ended funds, and ask whether investor behaviour can be predicted...
01 Dec 2021 Managing money through a tumultuous cycle
A clear focus on stock selection has helped the team at Brunner navigate a tumultuous year for both value and growth investors…
10 Nov 2021 Fund Analysis
BUT has generated strong returns over 2021 but still trades at a potentially attractive discount…
28 Jul 2021 Income for the ages
By focusing on balancing both income and growth, Brunner’s dividend has weathered the market storms better than many…
16 Jun 2021 A better class of travel*
Sharing many features of a traditional family office, investment trusts offer ordinary investors a cost-effective solution to managing family wealth...
25 May 2021 Quality growth, growing income, discounted price
A key advantage of the investment trust structure is the opportunity to buy well-regarded funds at discounted prices. Here, we explore one of them in depth…
05 May 2021 Fund Analysis
BUT trades at a historically wide discount, despite recent competitive performance and 49 years of dividend increases…
11 Nov 2020 Fund Analysis
Trading at the widest discount in the AIC Global sector, BUT offers a balanced portfolio of global growth opportunities…
View all

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