It is revealing that the report in Money Marketing (September 23) on Witan Investment Trust should cite the reason for IFA concern at Witan Investment Trust's choice of managers as being “unknown in the UK retail market.”
It seems strange that the primary factor in choosinga fund manager to look after a client's money should be that they are well known.
History tells us that this does not always mean such companies are successful, or indeed reliable. Is this not just another case of sticking with the devil you know?
Investors may well not have heard of our new management team but this should surely encourage IFAs to find out more about them.
We shall be doing our best to illuminate the industry as to their skills in the short term and performance should enhance these efforts thereafter.
On a general note, one might remember that past performance is no guarantee to future returns. You can't purchase it. Moreover, anyone can put together a team of high past achievers. All you do is take a look at the tables and pick the top bunch over any particular period.
But choosing fund managers likely to outperform in the future calls for a little more diligence than that. Witan's new managers obviously have long successful track records, otherwise the board would not have selected them.
However it is how these records are achieved which is important rather than the records themselves. They are the result of rigorous and disciplined investment processes.
These managers invest on the basis of fundamental and proprietary research. They are stockpickers uncorrelated to benchmarks. Their philosophies have been fabulously successful and, as employee-owned organisations, their interests are fully aligned with those of the Witan shareholders.
Witan is throwing down the gauntlet to the multi-manager market with the trust now providing world-class investment talent hitherto inaccessible to the UK retail market – all at a fraction of the price charged by other funds.
Soon, it may prove difficult for IFAs to shun Witan, whether its managers are household names or not.
Witan Investment Trust