Witan increases dividend but lags benchmark

Witan Investment Trust increased its dividend by 10.1% during 2011, despite underperforming its benchmark.

The multi-manager trust saw a net asset value total loss of 10.9%, compared with a total loss of 7% reported by its composite benchmark.

Harry Henderson, chairman of Witan, says the trust had recouped most of the underperformance in 2011 during 2012.

One of the main causes was gearing, says Henderson, which rose from 5.4% to 11% during the first seven months of the year.

Henderson says its managers were also not positioned “for the abrupt change in investor risk aversion in the market sell-off”.

The investment trust’s total expense ratio fell during 2011 by 0.2% to 0.87%.