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UK equity funds that best weathered Brexit storm

UK equity funds that best weathered Brexit storm

The £214m Troy Income and Growth investment trust and the £1.1bn Schroder Recovery fund are the UK mandates that have best weathered the turbulent market conditions best since the start of October.

Comments made by members of the board of the US Federal Reserve on October 3 predicting a faster than previously anticipated pace of interest rate rises, coupled with lingering fears around the impact of the trade dispute between the US and China, and a sharp slowing of some economic data in Europe, contributed to a sharp sell-off in equity markets.

The continued question marks over the terms of the UK's exit from the European Union have added an extra layer of negativity to the outlook for many UK assets.

FTAdviser, using data from the Association of Investment Companies and FE Analytics, has compared the performance of all funds in the UK All Companies and UK Equity Income sectors available to UK financial advisers in the investment trust and unit trust spaces from the start of October to November 27.

The results revealed the Troy Income and Growth investment trust, run by long-serving fund manager Francis Brooke, topped the charts.

His trust lost less than 3 per cent in the period since October 1, compared with a loss of more than 6 per cent for the average trust in the AIC UK Equity Income sector in the same time period.

Mr Brooke's trust is invested in many of the most widely held stocks in the UK market, with Unilever and Royal Dutch Shell among the largest holdings.

Unilever is a stock often held by investors for its defensive characteristics, as it sell products, such as shampoo, for which there is a constant demand, making the revenue relatively secure even in tougher economic times.  

The best performing open ended fund was Schroder Recovery, which has lost 3.7 per cent since the start of October.

The fund is run by Kevin Murphy and Nick Kirrage since 2006.

Both of those manager's came through the graduate scheme at Schroders.

They deploy a value style of investing which had been out of favour during the extended equity bull market, but has done better in recent months as bond yields have risen.

The value style of investing focuses on buying among the most lowly valued shares, and that can have defensive characteristics in times of market strife as it is the more expensive shares that would be expected to fall furthest.

Mining company Anglo American is the largest investment in the fund.

Tom Sparke, investment director at GDIM, a discretionary fund management business, said he is a fan of Mr Murphy and Mr Kirrage, and noted that they have performed very well this year, adding to their long-term track record.

The best performing investment trust in the All Companies sector was the Invesco Perpetual Select UK trust, a £55 fund that has lost 6 per cent.

It is managed by James Goldstone, and has BP as its largest holding.