Investment Trust Insider on El Oro’s rollover into JPMorgan Elect – James Carthew: El Oro teaches Martin Currie how to roll over
Last week we said goodbye to one of the more eclectic members of the investment companies family. El Oro (ELX) has been put into liquidation and its assets divvied up between a rollover option and a cash option.
El Oro had a long and interesting history, having been greatly expanded under the leadership of Major Michael Woodbine Parish. Essentially it was a family investment company with Major Parish and his heirs holding substantial stakes in the business.
It was also famous for its colourful chairman’s statements, which covered a broad range of topics, not necessarily directly related to the company, including England’s sporting successes and failures, a strong antipathy towards HS2 (which I share) and calls for a resurgent coal UK industry (which I definitely do not agree with).
For a long time, the portfolio had a significant bias towards natural resources stocks. This weighed on the performance of the company and in 2016, after discussions with shareholders, it was decided that the company would wind up following the 2018 AGM.
In the event a proposal was made that shareholders be offered the choice of cash or shares in one of the three portfolios (Managed Income, Managed Growth and Managed Cash) that make up JPMorgan Elect.
I think that shareholders in an investment company that is winding up should always be offered the choice of a rollover into another investment company where possible.
I was disappointed that the board of Martin Currie Asia Unconstrained (MCP) did not go down this route when it announced last month that the trust would be liquidated, opting instead for a rollover for investors into the manager’s equivalent open-ended fund.
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