Edinburgh Investment Trust fires Invesco’s Barnett

The £1.3 billion Edinburgh Investment Trust said on Wednesday it has replaced Invesco’s Mark Barnett as its investment manager with Majedie Asset Management after “another very disappointing set of results.”

The closed-end fund broke the news as it published half-year results to September 30 showing total return of -3.1%, falling behind that of the FTSE All-Share Index, the company’s benchmark, which returned +4.6%.

“This represents an underperformance of 7.7% against the benchmark and follows underperformance against the benchmark in each of the past three financial years,” said Edinburgh Investment Trust chairman Glen Suarez.

“Indeed, over the last three years, the company has delivered a NAV (net asset value) total return of +1.6%, against the total return of the FTSE All-Share Index of +21.7%.

“The share price discount to NAV widened from 7.6% at the year end to 10.5% on 30 September 2019, reflecting a combination of general widening of discounts across the sector and discontent with the company’s performance.”

Explaining the decision to change the fund’s investment manager, Suarez added: “I am disappointed by another weak result for the company in today’s interim results, extending the period of underperformance to beyond three years.

“Since 2018 your board has worked hard to understand the causes of this underperformance, cognisant of the long-term investment objective of this company and the recent trends in the UK equity market.

“Following a detailed assessment, thorough review and selection process, the board has decided to change the company’s investment manager and I am pleased to report that we have chosen Majedie.

“James de Uphaugh will be the portfolio manager and he is a highly experienced active manager with a flexible investment approach. 

“The board believes that James has the right approach to meet our company’s objectives of capital appreciation and dividend growth over the long-term.   

“I wish to take the opportunity to thank Invesco, and Mark Barnett in particular, for their services to the company and to wish them well for the future.”