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Battle of the big three multi-manager trusts: who comes out on top?

by Jennifer Hill from interactive investor, 22nd June 2022:

Alliance Trust, F&C and Witan – three big investment trusts that give investors access to a range of managers in one fell swoop. But how do they differ, and which has given investors the most bang for their buck?

Three global multi-manager investment trusts – Alliance Trust , F&C Investment Trust and Witan – offer a one-stop shop for investing, with a significant degree of diversification that should allow investors to sleep more easily at night. But how do they compare?

Longevity

For a start, they are all long-lived. “Whether one looks at F&C, Witan or Alliance Trust there is the reassurance of well over a century of backstory that should give confidence to the most nervous or less-experienced investor,” says John Newlands, founder of Newlands Fund Research.

F&C is the oldest investment trust at 154 years old, having been established in 1868. Alliance Trust is the middle child of our trio at 134 years old and Witan is the relative baby at a mere 113 years.

“While they have had challenges along the way, these funds have been able to reinvent themselves and remain relevant to investors – there are plenty of other funds that have fallen along the way,” says Matthew Read, a senior analyst at QuotedData.

Size

All are a good size and have decent liquidity in their shares. F&C is the biggest of the three by some margin with a market capitalisation of £4.2 billion. Alliance Trust ranks second with £2.8 billion and Witan third with £1.5 billion.

They are the biggest trusts in the global sector except for the Goliath of them all, Scottish Mortgage, which has a market cap of more than £10 billion.

“While Scottish Mortgage’s performance has been incredible over the longer term, its explicit growth focus and investment style makes its performance inherently more volatile than these multi-manager vehicles – its shares have more than halved from their November 2021 peak,” says Read.

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