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Analyst says move is halfway house

Witan&#39s move to a multi-manager structure has been described as a halfway house by one of the investment trust sector&#39s leading analysts.

Close Wins investment trust research argues that a true best of breed vehicle would be unlikely to hold 50 per cent of its assets in tracker funds, as is the case with the Witan fund.

The analyst also notes the absence of performance records for the selected managers because Witan cannot provide them for legal and compliance reasons though it adds that Witan has selected a very impressive list of names.

But it believes the move does differentiate the trust from its Global Growth peer group and that it will be more attractive than its peers. It also notes that the fund has a very low total expense ratio of just 0.16 per cent of assets with an average performance fee of 18 per cent.

The analyst believes that because the 55 per cent of the trust&#39s assets remaining with Henderson are low-margin, the fund manager&#39s revenue has fallen by two-thirds.

The note adds: “We believe that the outcome is somewhat of a halfway house towards true open architecture. Ultimately, it seems unclear whether the objective is to outperform indices or to deliver strong outperformance.

“Of course, the two are not mutually exclusive but we would question the role of trackers, albeit enhanced, within a best of breed fund.”


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