Miton fund doubles return of FTSE index since Hamilton/Godber departure

Miton’s Andrew Jackson

Miton’s Andrew Jackson has delivered double the returns of the FTSE All Share since he took over the UK Value Opportunities fund on 1 July following the sudden departure of star manager duo Georgina Hamilton and George Godber.

The fund delivered 33.7 per cent in the one year Jackson has been at the helm compared to 16.8 per cent in the FTSE index.

The IA UK All Companies sector, where the fund ranks tenth out of 260, returned 20 per cent over the period.

Reflecting on his one year managing the fund, Jackson says the UK is more politically uncertain now than it was when he joined the the asset manager in the immediate aftermath of Brexit.

Jackson also confirms that he has recently initiated a position in Capita following its “shocker” 2016.

Meanwhile, Hamilton launched the Polar UK Value Opportunities fund in January and was joined by Godber in April. It has returned 9.6 per cent since launch compared to 6.6 per cent in both the IA UK All Companies sector and FTSE All Share.

The Miton fund has delivered 14.1 per cent over the same period.

Jackson says almost half of the portfolio is made of companies introduced over the last 12 months.

“I arrived at Miton in the immediate aftermath of the Brexit vote, and it’s disappointing to say that we’re now in an even less certain position due to the outcome of Theresa May’s botched General Election.

“I tend to favour the strength of economic cycles to prevail over politics, but it now looks as though a year of political uncertainty might just be starting to catch up with domestic activity.

“That thinking is shaping the portfolio – favouring internationally biased over domestic opportunities – but there will come a time when the risk reward equation tips the other way.”

The fund still includes housebuilder Bellway, Jackson notes, but he says they are more enthusiastic by the outlook for companies with an “international flavour”, such as camera equipment maker Vitec.

The fund also added Capita to the portfolio in recent weeks.

“Once a darling growth stock, 2016 was a shocker with downgrades and a worrying level of debt. But a disposal plan to reduce debt and the subsequent sale of its fund administration service has provoked a sharp price increase.

“The stock was tarnished but not fatally wounded, and was not attracting analyst attention; the combination of a clear recovery plan, signs of stabilisation and balance sheet healing have  prompted a rediscovery of enthusiasm.”

Jackson says they will continue to shape the portfolio on a stock-by-stock basis arguing “what’s bad for the economy isn’t necessarily bad for the market.”