Trust to replace Barnett this summer

Trust to replace Barnett this summer

The board of the Perpetual Income & Growth trust expects to announce a permanent replacement for Mark Barnett this summer.

In the trust's annual report, its chairman Richard Laing said the decision in April to sack Invesco as manager was "not taken lightly" but that the process for replacing Mr Barnett has started.

He said: "The process is well underway and, although it is somewhat hampered by the current restrictions, we nevertheless expect to announce the new investment manager during the summer months."

Since Mr Barnett was sacked as manager of the Perpetual Income & Growth trust, he "mutually agreed" to leave Invesco after several years of poor performance.

The trust is now being managed on an interim basis by Martin Walker, Invesco's new head of UK equities.

But its poor performance has continued, and over the past year its share price has fallen by 35 per cent while the FTSE All Share index has lost just 18 per cent.

Over the past year the Perpetual Income & Growth trust was the worst performing trust in the AIC UK Equity Income sector.

The trust has also shrunk in size over the past year, with its assets falling from £881m to £544m.

Addressing the trust's poor performance, Mr Laing said: "The value-based investment strategy employed by the manager suggested that the portfolio should benefit significantly from a ‘Brexit bounce’. However, early indications that this might transpire proved to be short-lived."

Before leaving Invesco last month, Mr Barnett also managed the open-ended Income and High Income funds, which lost about 40 per cent over the past three years, compared with a UK All Companies sector average loss of 14 per cent.

Both funds rank in the lowest quartile in the sector over three-month, six-month, one-year, three-year and five-year periods.

Mr Barnett was sacked from the Edinburgh investment trust in December and replaced by Majedie Asset Management’s James de Uphaugh.

Mr Barnett took over the management of most of his funds when he replaced Mr Woodford as head of UK equities at Invesco in 2014.

He deployed the same value style of investing as Mr Woodford, and had major investments in many of the same companies as his former boss, including chronic underperformers such as Stobart Group and Provident Financial.