Fund Profile


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CT Private Equity (CTPE) is a diversified private equity trust investing across Europe with other third-party private equity managers and through co-investments. It has a very different feel to other listed private equity trusts, given the emphasis on smaller private equity groups, which target deals in the lower mid-market of private equity deals. Diversification is a specific strategy of the managers, designed to mitigate risks yet enable the trust to harness the strong returns potential of the private equity managers they partner with.

Having nearly half of the portfolio invested in co-investments means that the team have a good level of control over CTPE’s balance sheet (see Gearing section). Over the medium term, investments and realisations within private equity portfolios tend to balance each other out. However, as we discuss in the Portfolio section, whilst investment activity has rebounded from 2022, compared to the same period last year, there has been a slowdown in realisations. Gearing has crept up as a result, and CTPE’s commitment cover has fallen.

A result of the unique strategy, CTPE is amongst the top performers in the peer group, which we show below over five years. Certainly, other trusts have delivered stronger absolute returns, but these usually come with significantly higher potential risk in the form of having a single management group, sector focus and much higher portfolio concentration. As we discuss in the Performance section, the last three years’ outperformance of the FTSE All Share Index is notable. Exit conditions are now tougher, and CTPE’s NAV has been flat year to date. The team are optimistic that the portfolio will continue to deliver strong returns over the long term.

Analyst's View

CT Private Equity (CTPE) continues to stand out from the peer group. Fundamentally, the diversified approach means that specific risks are minimised, yet shareholders are exposed to UK and Europe’s smaller, hungrier private equity teams, targeting the less competitive areas of the market. Co-investments have been an important driver of NAV returns, which is the reason that the board and managers are targeting a higher exposure over time. In our view, higher allocations are to be welcomed, with the twin potential to boost returns and lower costs (see Charges section).

The team believe that the exit boom of recent years is now past and we are returning to more 'normal' conditions. As we discuss in the Gearing section, with more investments being made than realisations, gearing has crept up as a result, and CTPE’s commitment cover has fallen. On its own, we don’t believe this presents a problem although we note that if the board were to announce a larger credit facility, this would reduce any fears that the market may have that CTPE could find itself overextended.

CTPE’s shares have, historically, attracted a premium rating to peers, and if market sentiment returns, one cannot rule out this situation returning. The differentiated strategy, the high formulaic dividend (see Dividend section), net buying by Columbia Threadneedle saving scheme members (including re-investment of the dividend), not to mention strong historic performance present an attractive cocktail for long-term investors.


  • Strong and long track record of beating listed equity returns
  • Diversified exposure, complemented by significant proportion of co-investments
  • Differentiated strategy that has delivered strongly in the past


  • Private equity is a relatively high-cost investment area, as seen in the OCF/KID figures
  • Historically, higher gearing than most peers, which can exacerbate downside risks
  • Discount is slightly narrower than peers and board not particularly active in buying back shares
Continue to Portfolio

Fund History

08 May 2024 The doctor will see you now
Taking the pulse of the listed private equity sector…
08 May 2024 Fund Analysis
CTPE’s portfolio represents a tangibly different opportunity…
21 Dec 2023 The best-performing investment trust of 2023 (so far)
3i’s price rise this year is unlikely to be repeated, but what of the rest of the LPE sector?
14 Dec 2023 Fund Analysis
CTPE continues to deliver on its unique strategy…
31 May 2023 Fund Analysis
Increasing co-investment activity should add to CTPE’s appeal…
18 May 2023 Treasure hunters
What can a corporate raider’s perspective tell us about private equity trusts..?
19 Apr 2023 Are we nearly there yet?
We look at which trusts have done best year to date, and ask where there may be value…
13 Apr 2023 Far from the madding crowd
Smaller nimble companies, both public and private, may be best placed to navigate the current environment…
22 Mar 2023 Good vibrations
We identify some sectors with structural discounts we think could close over time…
28 Dec 2022 Fund Analysis
CTPE’s differentiated strategy continues to deliver strong results…
30 Nov 2022 Cry havoc!
Lessons from a year in which an already troubled world was savaged by the dogs of war...
03 Aug 2022 Diverging fortunes in listed private equity
Growth capital and buyout trusts now trade at similar wide discounts. In our view, this belies very different prospects for underlying earnings and for valuations...
27 Apr 2022 Fund Analysis
BPET’s discount and differentiated portfolio make the trust stand out…
02 Feb 2022 Getting in on the act: Private markets
Private markets could be the next big opportunity for investors…
03 Nov 2021 Don't fear the reaper
With market direction hard to call, we consider the case for taking a long-term view in the investment trust sector…
13 Oct 2021 Fund Analysis
BPET currently seems to be in a private equity sweet spot, potentially making its discount attractive…
23 Sep 2021 Even better than the real thing
We explain private equity and examine why tweaks to listed private equity trusts give the sector an advantage over the direct route...
21 Apr 2021 Fund Analysis
BPET’s strong 2020 and the recent sale of Dotmatics highlights the attractive returns private equity can generate…
25 Nov 2020 Fund Analysis
BPET has slipped to a meaningful discount, but offers a differentiated strategy that has outperformed equity markets…
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