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Fund Profile

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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.

Overview
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Overview

Brunner Investment Trust (LON:BUT) is designed to provide investors with an alternative solution to those often found within the global sector, offering a balanced portfolio, capable of delivering consistent returns across the market cycle. As discussed in Management, the departure of lead manager Matthew Tillett in July 2022 has seen the former deputy manager, Christian Schneider, assume the lead manager position. Marcus Morris-Eyton and Simon Gergel continue to support Christian and are established members of BUT’s investment team, providing continuity in BUT’s longstanding balanced strategy. In November 2022, Julian Bishop also joined the team.

As discussed in Portfolio, the process is bottom-up and focusses on the quality of the underlying investments with very little consideration for geographical exposures. Key secular growth trends drive decision-making, with a focus on companies less exposed to the cyclicality of the market. One overarching theme is the digitalisation of the global economy, with the managers identifying opportunities within healthcare, sustainable energy and financial services.

The managers are focussed on generating capital growth, however, to achieve a progressive Dividend, which has now achieved 50 consecutive years of growth, they invest in high-quality value companies and have a high UK-equity allocation, which at the current level of 21%, is significantly higher than global equity indices.

Long-term Performance has been strong, particularly versus the global sector. The UK bias and focus on quality ‘stable growth’ companies at reasonable valuations has contributed to outperformance over 2022 of 10.3% versus the global sector average. Despite this, BUT continues to trade at a wide Discount of 11.3%, compared to the peer group’s simple average of 7.3%.

Analyst's View

We think BUT’s investment approach is likely to appeal to investors in search of a longer-term, core equity solution that is less exposed to cyclicality. The focus on high-quality companies that have high market share, pricing power and a long-term competitive advantage, yet trade at attractive valuations, may offer investors some comfort over the medium term, as we enter a structurally different economic environment with higher inflation and interest rates. Three long-standing managers are retaining their roles in the team, so we do not expect any change to the management style, despite the turnover in the lead management role.

In our opinion, the approach has been validated by the consistency of BUT’s Performance over the long and short term, from both a relative and an absolute perspective. The managers’ focus on allocating to key structural themes may have the potential to prove accretive to NAV and is an approach that offers investors a genuinely active and diverse global strategy. However, we would remind investors that the significant overweight allocation to the UK needs to be considered if BUT is blended with UK-biased funds.

The consistency of the Dividend growth delivered highlights the strength of the portfolio’s underlying companies, whilst providing an additional source of income not typically associated with growthier trusts in the global sector. The discount remains relatively wide compared to the peer group and, although this is in line with its five-year average, we think the continued efforts to improve the profile of the trust, coupled with strong performance, may lead to a narrowing in the future.

Bull

  • Both long-term and short-term consistent performance
  • Diversified underlying holdings compared to peer group and global indices
  • Trading at a wider than long-term average discount

Bear

  • May underperform in stylistic-driven market environments
  • Gearing may exaggerate losses on the downside
  • Relatively high lead PM turnover in recent years, but underlying investment process maintained
Continue to Portfolio

Fund History

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…
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