Interactive Investor

Mid Wynd swaps fund firm in response to manager retirement

27th June 2023 13:36

by Sam Benstead from interactive investor

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Artemis has been replaced by Lazard Asset Management, which will deploy a ‘quality growth’ investment approach. 

Investment trust board 600

Global stocks investment trust Mid Wynd International has appointed a new fund manager, following the February announcement that current manager Simon Edelsten will retire at the end of 2023.

Fund group Artemis is being replaced by Lazard Asset Management, a manager with £160 billion in assets under management.

Since Edelsten took over in May 2014, the trust’s shares have risen 185% compared with 168% for the MSCI World Index and 105% for the average global investment trust.

Under Edelsten, the trust took a thematic approach to investing by seeking to profit from emerging themes, such as automation and online service.

It bought high-quality companies, but was careful not to overpay for them. For example, Edelsten cut his exposure to tech stocks at the end of 2021, a move which helped him in 2022 but has cost him this year.

The new managers are expected to take over in the final three months of 2023. They will deploy a “quality growth” approach to investing, looking to invest in companies that have sustainable competitive advantages and can keep growing their businesses steadily.

The trust will be managed by Lazard’s Louis Florentin-Lee and Barnaby Wilson, who both currently manage the Lazard Global Quality Growth fund. Over the 10-year period to the end of March 2023, it has returned 11% a year compared with 8% for the MSCI World Index.

Its top stocks are currently Microsoft, Alphabet and Accenture. It also has LVMH, Coca-Cola and Visa in the top 10. The biggest investment sectors are technology (28%), industrials (19.8%) and healthcare (15.6%).

Quality growth investing has been in favour over the past decade, as faster-growing but more expensive shares have performed well. It is the investment style employed by Terry Smith in his Fundsmith Equity fund, which has been one of the top global investment funds since it launched in 2010.

The management fee of Mid Wynd is expected to fall from the 0.6% ongoing charge today.

Russell Napier, chair of the trust, said: “We are delighted to appoint Lazard and their global quality growth team, headed by Louis Florentin-Lee and Barnaby Wilson, as managers of Mid Wynd.

“The team has produced strong performance through their disciplined approach and also a resilience of relative returns through very different market conditions.

“Identifying those companies that continue to invest at high rates of return for much longer periods than the market anticipates is an approach which the board believes will continue to reward long-term investors.

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