The board of Jupiter Global Trust PLC has announced plans to change the investment objective of the company and appoint Steve Davies, who runs the GBP1.56 billion Jupiter UK Growth fund, as its new lead manager.
Under the board’s proposals, the company would move from the current mixed investment portfolio of UK stocks and global funds to a new, more focused UK growth strategy which substantially mirrors that of the Jupiter UK Growth Fund, but in a geared, closed-ended format. If the company's new investment policy is approved by shareholders, the board proposes that its name be changed from Jupiter Global Trust PLC to Jupiter UK Growth Investment Trust PLC.
Launched in 1972 as the Primadona Growth Trust PLC, the Jupiter Global Trust PLC is currently run by Richard Curling, who took on the management of the Company's portfolio in October 2008. Following the proposed changes Richard will continue to manage the Jupiter Fund of Investment Trusts, the Jupiter Monthly Income Fund and institutional assets, as well as the Jupiter UK Alpha Fund.
Tom Bartlam, chairman of the Jupiter Global Trust PLC, says: “The company’s current mixed mandate has served us well in recent years as both a source of benchmark-beating returns and a differentiating factor within the investment company classifications. It has become increasingly clear to us, however, that the market for investment companies is evolving rapidly and we believe these proposed changes will enable us to reach a new market of shareholders while maintaining the potential for capital growth”.
If the proposed changes are approved by shareholders at a general meeting on 18 April 2016, investors will be able to gain exposure to Steve Davies’ investment style in two distinct ways: through the open-ended Jupiter UK Growth fund (an authorised unit trust) and in a geared format via the Jupiter UK Growth Investment Trust PLC. The company will be able, within limits set by the board, to use gearing and take short positions in derivatives seeking to enhance returns, while retaining the ability, thanks to the closed ended structure, to hold high conviction positions through volatile market conditions.
Davies has been sole manager of Jupiter UK Growth Fund since June 2015, having co-managed the Fund since 2012, and served as deputy fund manager for three years. Steve is a stock-picker who focuses on two specific types of opportunity: recovery stocks (companies that have been written off or deemed un-investible by the market) and growth stocks (companies that in his view can generate above-average rates of growth over an extended time period). He invests across the full range of market capitalisation with a longstanding bias towards large cap stocks. Since he became a co-manager of the Jupiter UK Growth Fund in 2013, the fund has delivered 38.66%, compared to the 20.58% delivered by the Fund’s benchmark, the FTSE All-Share index.
Following the proposed changes the company’s management fees will be reduced with effect from the general meeting of shareholders with the objective of offering a comparable Ongoing Charges Figure (the aggregate of ongoing charges, including management and administrative costs) to that of the institutional unit class in the Jupiter UK Growth Fund.
Bartlam says: “We believe this move represents a unique opportunity for shareholders to access geared exposure to Steve’s established investment style and proven stock-picking skills at a competitive price, whilst preserving all the advantages of a closed-end investment trust structure.”
To assist in the marketing of the company as it moves forward under its new portfolio manager, the board has also appointed Numis Securities Limited as the company’s new sponsor and financial adviser with immediate effect.