Alliance Trust changes stock pickers as Lomas is hired

Dundee investment trust company Alliance Trust plc, which uses external fund managers Willis Towers Watson (WTW), said on Monday that WTW has appointed Lomas Capital Management LLC “to be one of the best-in- class stock pickers in its multi-manager investment strategy.”

Lomas is being allocated 9% of the company’s £3 billion portfolio to manage.

“At the same time, the appointment of First Pacific Advisers (FPA), which has managed part of the company’s portfolio since the company implemented its current investment strategy on 1 April 2017, has been terminated,” said Alliance Trust.

“The team managing the company’s assets, led by Pierre Py and Greg Herr, left FPA on 16 October 2020 after setting up Phaeacian Partners, a joint venture with Polar Capital.

“Alliance Trust thanks FPA for its stewardship on behalf of shareholders over the past three and a half years.”

Alliance Trust said Lomas is an independent, majority employee-owned, boutique investment firm “with a strong investment-led culture specialising in thematic investing.”

It said Lomas was founded in 2012 in New York by Dan Lascano, Charlie LoCastro and Ron McIntosh and, as at September 30, 2020, had $820 million assets under management.

“The founders average over 30 years investment experience,” said Alliance Trust.

“Dan Lascano will be the lead manager for the company’s mandate.

“Like the company’s other eight managers, Dan and his team will employ a high-conviction, concentrated approach when picking stocks for its portfolio.

“Lomas has a strong affinity for this approach as their standard long-only portfolios typically have up to 22 stocks selected from an unconstrained global universe with a focus on consumer, industrial and financial sectors.”

Craig Baker, chairman of the Alliance Trust Investment Committee and Global Chief Investment Officer of Willis Towers Watson, said: “The Willis Towers Watson research team has identified Lomas, as a high calibre manager that has a differentiated approach to the other eight stock pickers managing the company’s portfolio.

“We believe this will bring a new source of outperformance, with a low correlation to the other stock pickers, ultimately leading to enhanced risk-adjusted returns and further diversity of the portfolio.

“Lomas utilises a thematically-driven investment process, within an unconstrained, style-agnostic approach.

“Its approach is quite distinctive and we are excited to introduce Lomas to our manager line up for the company.

“Lomas’ concentrated stock picks will only be accessible to UK retail investors through the company.

“We believe that the best way to deliver long-term outperformance to investors is to combine the best ideas from the best stock pickers globally into one high conviction but diversified portfolio, and offer it at a competitive fee.”