Profile: Witan Investment Trust (WTAN)

Published by Moira O'Neill on 13 October 2016.
Last updated on 01 November 2017

 Witan Investment Trust is a member of Moneywise’s First 50 Funds for beginners. To find out more about investment trusts and how they work read the our guide: Understanding investment trusts.

Witan Investment Trust (WTAN)

AIC sector: Global
Objective: To achieve long-term growth in income and capital through active multi-manager investment in global equities.
Ongoing charge: 0.79%
Yield: 1.8%

Founded in 1909, Witan is one of the investment trust industry’s ‘dividend heroes’. Although its yield is relatively modest at less than 2%, it has clocked up 42 consecutive years of annual dividend increases.

Most of its portfolio is managed by 10 to 15 external fund managers running different geographical portfolios. When it first adopted this ‘multi-manager’ approach in 2004, there was a heavy allocation to index-tracking funds and this resulted in mediocre performance.

Since the arrival of chief executive Andrew Bell in 2010, its capital performance has also improved significantly. Under Mr Bell, who decides the asset allocation and chooses the external managers, the trust has become actively managed. The blend of different active approaches and styles is aimed at improving returns and helping to smooth out the volatility normally associated with a single manager. Mr Bell meticulously scours the globe for the right managers; generally focused stockpickers and not the well-known fund management names. He says: “We are blending relatively spicy ingredients in the hope of creating an interesting meal.”

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