Anglo & Overseas set to close trust

If the proposal is approved Anglo & Overseas, currently managed by John Murray at DWS Investment Trust Managers, will be wound up and the New Anglo trust will be launched in its place. The new trust is set to be managed by Sandy Nairn and Graham Campbell at Edinburgh Partners.

The changes aim to enhancing shareholder value, as the trust’s directors have acknowledged the disappointing performance of Anglo & Overseas compared with its peer group. According to the Association of Investment Trust Companies, the total return on the fund’s net asset value was down 7.5% over three years and down 33.5% over five years.

Shareholders in the Anglo & Overseas trust, launched in 1960, will have the choice of either receiving shares in the New Anglo trust or receiving cash.

The changes are still subject to shareholder approval and will be voted on at an extraordinary general meeting on July 28. If shareholders approve the move, the new trust is expected to be launched in the summer.

According to the directors, the new trust will have a similar objective to the Anglo & Overseas trust, but will be research-driven and focus more on stock selection. The New Anglo trust will also invest primarily in global publicly quoted companies.

Nairn (pictured) says the New Anglo trust will continue to invest 40% of the portfolio in Britain with the balance overseas. However, Nairn and Campbell will significantly reduce the size of the portfolio to 30 or 40 stocks from about 220 at present. Currently, the fund is invested primarily in Britain and America, with Vodafone, HSBC and BP as its largest holdings.

Edinburgh Partners has an initial two-year agreement to manage the trust with a one-year rolling contract thereafter, says Nairn. Campbell will be responsible for the UK assets within the trust, with Nairn in charge of the global portion of the portfolio.

Edinburgh Partners currently also manages the £27m EP Global Opportunities trust, launched in late 2003.