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Hargreaves’ Mark Dampier joins Invesco but denies conflict of interest

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Hargreaves Lansdown’s Mark Dampier says his new board position on the £195m Invesco Income Growth Trust should not present a conflict of interest “in practice”.

The head of investment research will take up his non-executive director role for the investment trust from 1 March.

He says he is looking forward to raising the profile of the trust and manager Ciaran Mallon, believing they may often be overlooked due to the higher profile of Mark Barnett and other managers at Invesco Perpetual.

He says: “Any conflict interest will be one of mind rather than practice.

“HL does not actively promote investment trusts, not because we don’t like them, but for reasons of liquidity. This trust is not even £200m in size and in our income and growth multi-manager fund we have more than £2bn in assets. We would struggle to buy most of the trusts we are interested in, which is why we don’t push them.”

Dampier boasts more than 30 years’ experience working in financial services. He is also a director of Hargreaves Lansdown Asset Management and a member of the group’s executive management committee.

He was adamant the appointment would not detract from his roles at HL and said if it started to, he would step down.

He says: “I am absolutely not about to retire from Hargreaves Lansdown.”

Invesco Income Growth Trust chairman Hugh Twiss says: “[Mark’s] practical involvement through Hargreaves Lansdown in the huge growth of unadvised investors over recent years will greatly assist the board in meeting its objective of making Invesco Income Growth Trust as appealing and accessible as possible.”

Dampier adds: “I very much look forward to joining the board of Invesco Income Growth Trust. Equity income is a favourite sector of mine and, given ageing demographics of the UK, will have an increasingly important role to play.”

Further, he believes not enough trust boards challenge their fund managers sufficiently and says he will have no qualms in doing do with Mallon.

He believes this is probably because not enough boards of investment trusts contain members who work in financial services.

“I’m all for having diverse boards but some don’t have any representatives from the industry on them. I had to explain to one what a platform was once.”

Invesco Income Growth Trust share price has risen 78.2 per cent over five years, against the FTSE All-Share’s return over 33.8 per cent.

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