Lindsell Train is set to expand its fund range for the first time in nine years as it mulls its succession plans.
The fund house confirmed today (May 18) it was planning to launch a North American Equity fund to join its UK, Japan and global equity strategies in a bid to allow managers within the firm other than founders Michael Lindsell and Nick Train to manage a portfolio with “complete autonomy”.
James Bullock, who joined the firm in 2010 and co-manages the global equity portfolios alongside Mr Lindsell and Mr Train, will manage the fund with the help of Madeline Wright, deputy portfolio manager at the firm.
Lindsell Train stated: “Since its inception in 2000, Lindsell Train has resolved to keep things simple.
“We offer one distinct investment approach that we apply to a limited number of investment strategies – to date, to three: UK, Japan and Global Equity.
“As we mature and think ever more seriously about succession, we believe now is the right time to introduce a new strategy and to this end we are establishing a North American Equity Fund.”
The firm added that any “broadening or deepening” of its knowledge of the US would additionally benefit its global portfolios, given North American equities accounted for more than 40 per cent of the firm’s global holdings.
Tom Sparke, investment manager at GDIM, said: “Lindsell Train has identified its strength in the US and has decided to capitalise on this by launching a dedicated fund in this area.
“It’s a huge market and one that’s full of opportunity and if they replicate their style of high conviction in this fund it could make quite an impact.”
Mr Train and Mr Lindsell have both put their own cash into the new portfolio while further seeding will come from the Lindsell Train Investment Trust.
As at November last year the well-known managers had a combined £28.4m in the Lindsell Train investment trust while Mr Train had a £24m stake in the Finsbury Growth and Income trust.
Advisers said they would be cautious about the new portfolio until it had a substantial track record.
Alistair Cunningham, financial planning director at Wingate Financial Planning, said he would “pay no mind” to a fund without a track record.
Ricky Chan, director at IFS Wealth & Pensions, agreed. He said: “I would not use the fund until it has a track record in terms of performance, costs, investment strategy and its processes have been independently reviewed.”
Mr Chan added the fund “could be interesting” given the success of Lindsell Train funds in the past but said he would “reserve caution” on the new fund given it was to be managed by the founders’ successors rather than themselves.
Lindsell Train stated it would not talk in detail about the fund or market the new portfolio to investors until it had built up a meaningful track record of up to five years.