JP Morgan investment trust undergoes overhaul

The JP Morgan Claverhouse investment trust is to undergo an overhaul after its net asset value (NAV) per share underperformed its benchmark for four out of the past five years.

The board asked JP Morgan Asset Management to reconsider the way it managed the fund and move away from its behavioural finance investment process.

In its latest final results, the board said it “did not feel it possible to accept an unchanged approach in the light of the record for the past five years”.

The board says it had accepted that the trust should continue under JP Morgan management, but changes to improve performance would take place from March.

The move has seen William Meadon, head of institutional UK equities in JP Morgan Asset Management’s european equities team, appointed as co-manager as James Illsley, lead manager, leaves the trust’s management.

The trust will be constructed “in a more fundamentally driven way”, with the portfolio to be scaled down to between 60 and 80 high conviction stocks, down from the more than 100 stocks in the past.

The performance target will remain as 2% per annum over the FTSE All-Share index benchmark, averaged over a three-year period.

The trust will also migrate to the the AIC UK Growth & Income sector.

In its full-year results to December 31 2011, the total return on net assets was -7.6%, compared with the total return on the benchmark of -3.5% for the year.

A total loss to shareholders of 7.9% was reported.