WitanAug 29 2017

Performance prompts Witan Pacific trust managers change

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Performance prompts Witan Pacific trust managers change
ByDavid Thorpe

The board of the £238m Witan Pacific Investment Trust has announced a raft of changes to the line up of fund managers it uses, following a year of mediocre performance.

The Witan Pacific Investment Trust is a multi-manager fund, so it invests in other funds. It is focused on the Asia excluding Japan region.

The trust returned 20.14 per cent over the past year, broadly in line with the 20.7 per cent returned by the benchmark, the MSCI AC Asia Pacific Index.

The board of the trust announced this morning that the fund’s holding in the Gavekal Asian Opportunities UCITS fund, which previously accounted for 10 per cent of the capital of the trust, has been sold.

The largest investment in the Witan Pacific Investment Trust, a fund run by Matthews International Capital, has been trimmed from 47 per cent, to 40 per cent.

A mandate run by Aberdeen Standard Investments, which previously accounted for 42 per cent of the capital of the trust, has been slashed, to become a 25 per cent holding.

Two new holdings, a fund run by Robeco Institutional Asset Management, and one by Dalton Investments, now account for 10 per cent of the capital of the trust.

Susan Platts-Martin, chairman of the trust, said she hopes the new structure will lead to Witan Pacific being invested in a “fuller range of opportunities”.

She added: “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 Witan Pacific Investment Trust trades at a discount to its net assets of 13.8 per cent.