Witan Pacific switches investment managers to boost performance

Business-People-Portfolio-Hire-Appointment-700x450.jpgThe Witan Pacific investment trust has switched the investment managers it outsources to, almost halving the mandate managed by Aberdeen Standard Investments and introducing Robeco Institutional Asset Management as an investment manager.

The changes are being made to focus the £205m multi-manager trust more on active management and increase its exposure to small-cap firms with unrecognised growth prospects in a bid to boost the trust’s potential to outperform.

Aberdeen Standard Investments’ and Matthews International Capital Management’s mndates will be reduced from 42 per cent to 25 per cent and from 47 per cent to 40 per cent respectively, while the 10 per cent of the trust invested in the Gavekal Asian Opportunities Ucits fund will be sold.

Bottom-up stock picker Robeco Institutional Asset Management and small-cap manager Dalton Investments have been appointed as investment managers responsible for 25 per cent and 10 per cent of the portfolio respectively.

The objective of the managers remains unchanged; to outperform the MSCI AC Asia Pacific index (£). A transition manager will be used to manage the changes.

Over one year the trust has returned 20.1 per cent mirroring the average of the Asia Pacific including Japan equities sector, according to FE data.

Chairman Susan Platts-Martin says: “Although performance can never be guaranteed, the new structure is expected to deliver a portfolio exposed to a fuller range of opportunities in the region, both geographically and across the size spectrum from mega-caps to smaller companies.

“Witan Pacific’s multi-manager structure has allowed the board to select four active managers, with distinct strategies, to look after different slices of the portfolio and aim to mitigate the volatility that might be experienced investing with a single manager or via a single strategy. The company’s objective remains to deliver positive total returns for shareholders in excess of the returns of the regional benchmark index, paying attention to both capital growth and a growing dividend. The attention paid by all the managers to well managed companies with good franchises and secure balance sheets is expected to complement the company’s aim of delivering dividend growth.”