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ICYA 2019: Shining the spotlight on the industry’s best-kept secret

Biotech trusts top performance charts in February

ICYA 2019: Shining the spotlight on the industry’s best-kept secret

Investment Week’s 21st annual Investment Company of the Year Awards were held at London’s Sheraton Park Lane at the end of last month. The awards aim to reward and recognise excellence in the closed-ended fund management space, using a combination of quantitative and qualitative analysis.

The judging panel comprised some of the industry’s most experienced names including Anthony Leatham from Peel Hunt, James Carthew from Marten & Co., Simon Elliott (left) from Winterflood, Nick Greenwood from Miton, Morningstar’s David Holder, Jason Hollands from Tilney and EQ Investors’ Simon Moore.

This year, we added two more to the panel owing to the growth of the awards; Roger Cuming, who is ex-head of investments at Reliance Mutual Insurance Society and former chairman of the Montanaro UK Smaller Companies investment trust; and Stephanie Carbonneil (top left), who is head of investment trusts at Allianz Global Investors.

What are your likes and dislikes when it comes to working in the closedended space?

Roger Cuming (RC): Unfortunately, closed-ended funds are not well understood in Europe, so regulation has been poorly targeted.

Stephanie Carbonneil (SC): Having an independent board looking after the interest of shareholders, a portfolio manager who can invest in less liquid assets with a longer term view, a reserve mechanism to smooth income distribution and the possibility of gearing to enhance performance and yield, are all unique advantages for shareholders.

Nick Greenwood (NG): The protection from inflows and outflows gives managers the freedom to populate their portfolio with conviction ideas, knowing they can retain these positions until the right time to sell.

What has been your personal highlight working with investment trusts in 2019?

James Carthew (JC): The continued growth of the renewable sector, with innovative funds such as SDCL Energy Efficiency Investments coming to the fore.

NG: The capital raising by Merian Chrysalis this year has embraced the relatively new asset class of crossover investing, which is another example of new trends appearing in the closed ended world first.

RC: Judging these awards!

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