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Witan Appoints Two Further Active UK Managers

Witan Appoints Two Further Active UK Managers

Witan has reviewed its portfolio management arrangements for UK equities and decided to appoint Lindsell Train Ltd [Lindsell Train] and NewSmith Asset Management LLP [NewSmith] as additional active managers. Each will be allocated a mandate of £100m, starting from September 2010. Both have a policy of running concentrated portfolios with distinctive approaches to creating value.

Witan will be reallocating funds from the Henderson UK Enhanced Index portfolio and the residual holdings in Witan’s Marathon UK portfolio. This decision reflects a further stage in the evolution of Witan's multi-manager structure and a deliberate move to increase the significance of stock selection in UK returns. Witan thank Henderson Global Investors for their successful management of the UK Enhanced Index Portfolio since 2004. This has outperformed its benchmark, during a period when Witan has been evolving its multi-manager structure towards a more active strategy. Marathon has also outperformed since the company was appointed in 2008, as reflected in Witan’s decision to allocate the manager a larger, pan-European mandate.

New UK Managers

Both NewSmith and Lindsell Train run concentrated, unconstrained portfolios of some 20-30 stocks. The NewSmith portfolio will be managed by Steve Thompson, Richard Milliken and Mark Wharrier whose investment approach is research-driven combined with a flexible investment style and a thematic overlay. The Lindsell Train portfolio will be managed by Nick Train who focuses on identifying fundamental intrinsic value, taking a long-term view on individual holdings.

Andrew Bell, Chief Executive Officer of Witan Investment Trust said:
 “We believe Witan’s shareholders should benefit significantly from the stock picking ability of Lindsell Train and NewSmith. These two managers, together with our other active UK manager, Artemis, provide our shareholders with access to a strong array of talent working on their behalf. Given the inherent diversifying effects of our global portfolio and the variety of our managers, Witan is seeking more concentrated stock selection as a further enhancement of its strategy.”

- ENDS -

James Frost   Jain Castiau, Director
Marketing Director   Cauldron Consulting
Witan Investment Trust plc   Tel: 0203718 7236 / 07909 963 969
Tel: 020 7227 9773   jain.castiau@cauldron-consulting.com
james.frost@witan.co.uk    

 

NOTES TO EDITORS

Witan Investment Trust plc
Established in 1909, Witan is one of the UK’s largest investment trusts, managing some £1,072m (as at 30.06.2010, source Witan) on behalf of some 40,000 investors.  Witan is listed in the ‘Global Growth’ sector and is a member of the FTSE 250 index. Registered as an Investment Company in England No 101625.

Lindsell Train Ltd
In their own words: “Lindsell Train was established in 2000 by Michael Lindsell and Nick Train and specialises in the management of UK equity, Japanese equity and global mandates for institutional clients.  The business was founded on the shared investment philosophy that developed while the founders worked together from the early 1990s.  Lindsell Train aims to provide a professional working environment where strong investment returns are delivered to their clients over the longer term.  Both the founders were concerned about their ability to deliver such returns within the confines of the major institutions where they were employed previously. The business has grown steadily and assets under management totalled £946 million at end June 2010.  Lindsell Train continues to be majority owned by the two founders. This is important because it permits the maintenance of the integrity of the business principles on which the firm was founded.”

NewSmith Asset Management LLP
In their own words: “NewSmith Asset Management LLP, established in 2004 by a team of fund managers who had worked together at Mercury Asset Management, has assets under management of £1.9bn at the end of June 2010, the majority in UK equities on behalf of a range of institutional and high net worth clients. The UK team manages concentrated, unconstrained equity portfolios, all with performance fee structures, and the team’s business model is driven by client performance not by asset gathering. Their investment philosophy is driven by the depth of understanding of UK companies and a strong market sense, combined with a flexible investment style and a thematic overlay.”

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