Henderson’s Barrass outlines changes to SVM trust

Henderson - Ian Barrass 700x450

Henderson head of private equity funds of funds Ian Barrass is to make a host of changes to the recently acquired SVM Global investment trust, holding off management fees until September 2013.

Barrass, who co-manages the trust with Paul Craig, won the mandate to take over SVM Global, which was run by Colin McClean, in February 2013 and it has since been renamed the Henderson Value trust.

The managers have organised the fund into five areas they want to address: specialist sector, specialist geography, private equity, hedge and property.

Of the first three areas, Barrass says: “We will reduce exposure to Russia and Eastern Europe when the time is right. With Russia it is about picking the right time to exit.

“The quality of investment we have in resources and materials may, in the short term, offer us better exit strategies. I feel the private equity should be more global – I feel it is over exposed to the UK.”

Barrass and Craig are aiming to reduce exposure to under performers in the hedge sector and develop recovery strategies within the property sector. In terms of favoured sectors, Barrass admits he would like to target yield and infrastructure.

Barrass says: ”We would like to introduce more yield. I could see us doing more in infrastructure. 

“The current yield of the trust is 0.8 per cent. If we could introduce more yield I think that might well received. And we are seeing interesting infrastructure opportunities coming out of renewable energy.”

Barrass feels mistakes were made with the trust when it was in SVM’s hands and says: “You have an inbuilt structural part of the portfolio which is just not coming back. If we had taken over at the beginning of the year we could have done something about these holdings.”