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Alliance slashes investment trust holdings in half

Alliance Trust head of equities Ilario di Bon has cut the portfolio’s 200 holdings in half reflecting a higher conviction approach for the investment trust.

Di Bon took over as head of equities earlier this year, having previously been head of global equities, following a restructure of the investment trust.

Under the previous structure, the investment trust’s portfolio was segmented into different regions and sectors.

“What we really wanted to do was to move towards a truly global approach, where regional and sector seggregations are secondary,” says Di Bon. “We look for opportunities wherever they tend to be. The unconstrained approach is a much more higher conviction approach.”

The head of equities says the approach to bottom-up and long-term investing has not changed as part of the restructure.

Di Bon says the trust’s unconstrained remit allows it to seek companies across the world and it is currently positioned neutrally.

He says: “If you look at where we are, we tend to have a good concentration of best ideas in the US, not because of a top down call, but because of the bottom up [case].”

The restructure of the portfolio was welcomed by analysts at Winterflood Investment Trusts earlier this year, with Di Bon praised as a “respected growth investor”. However, Di Bon says there are still some changes to be made.

“The process of change is probably halfway [through]. There are two big steps we want to got through. The first was focus on best ideas and that process has almost been completed,” he explains.

“The other process we are working on with the team is to change income generation profile of the fund,” says Di Bon, says the income team will look for the less obvious income opportunities around the world, rather than investing in UK large cap companies.

Di Bon says the income generation and capital growth remains a key consideration for the investment team.

“It is very important for out shareholders to continue a stable and growing income stream that we have seen over the past 45 years. We want to continue to deliver on that track record,” he adds.

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