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Investment trust insider on Manchester and London

Investment Trust Insider on Perpetual Income and Growth

Investment trust insider on Manchester and London – James Carthew: the global newcomer beating Lindsell Train & Scottish Mortgage

If you could design your own investment company, what would it look like? For most of us the idea is a pipe dream but for Mark Sheppard, manager of Manchester & London (MNL), it’s a reality.

While Manchester & London operates with all the usual checks and balances you’d associate with a stock exchange listed investment company, including an independent board and custodian, Sheppard has control of the £151 million trust, with 56.7% of the company held by M&M Investment Company, an unlisted company he controls.

Sheppard originally qualified as a chartered accountant before working at investment bank ABN Amro Hoare Govett. More recently Sheppard has embarked on a BSc (honours) degree in Computing and IT, reflecting a passion for the technology sector that dominates Manchester & London’s portfolio.

He is assisted by a team of three, including Brett Miller who has managed other listed funds, including a role behind the Damille activist trusts. The team also manages a small open-ended fund, M&L Global Digital and Technology, which had assets of just $21 million (£19 million) at the end of September.

Manchester & London had always been managed with a focus on high growth companies but, prior to 2015, the bias was to companies benefiting from the growth of emerging markets and to companies listed in the UK. After a period of difficult performance in 2014, Mark began to rebalance the trust towards the technology, consumer goods and healthcare sectors.

As the geographic remit broadened, Manchester & London soon took on the look of a global, large company portfolio. The subsequent performance was impressive but there was always a degree of sterling weakness flattering its returns compared to other trusts in the Association of Investment Companies’ UK All Companies sector.

When the AIC revamped its sectors earlier this year, it was moved to the Global sector….

Now that it is being compared to an appropriate peer group, Manchester & London’s performance looks all the better.

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