Scottish Mortgage to enter FTSE 100 and cut charges for shareholders

Kyle Caldwell
3 March 2017

The Scottish Mortgage investment trust, which is part of our First 50 Funds list, will join the FTSE 100 index late in March. Demotions and promotions are based on market capitalisation, with a reshuffle taking place every quarter.

Scottish Mortgage and pest control group Rentokil Initial have been promoted, at the expense of consumer electronics retail giant Dixons Carphone and Capita, the outsourcing group.

The reshuffle was based on prices after the market closed on 28 February; the promotions and demotions will come into effect from 20 March.

When Scottish Mortgage gains promotion, its shareholders will receive a fee cut with effect from 1 April. A tiered fee scale will replace the ongoing charge figure of 0.45%.



The charge will be 0.3% on the first £4 billion of assets under management, but then falling to 0.25% thereafter. Scottish Mortgage currently has gross assets in excess of £5 billion.

The trust's charge of 0.45% was already lower than global trust rivals, which typically tend to charge 1%.

Last September James Anderson, lead manager of the fund, said it is Scottish Mortgage's "duty to continue bringing down costs for shareholders".

Indeed, over the years Scottish Mortgage has made a conscious effort to take advantage of economies of scale, reducing charges for investors on the back of growth in the trust's assets.

Commenting on the latest fee reduction, as well as Scottish Mortgage's promotion to the FTSE 100 index, Anderson said: "We're thrilled by the progress over the decade since Scottish Mortgage became a genuinely global trust.

"The opportunities ahead are compelling but we need to keep improving, and cutting costs is a vital and underestimated part of this process."

John Scott, chairman of Scottish Mortgage, described the promotion as a "milestone for the company".

He added: "It reflects the trust's strong investment performance over the past 10 years, in addition to which our assets have grown on the back of the issuance from treasury of over 130 million shares in the past three years.

"This is testament to the success of our managers' high-conviction approach in owning what we consider to be the world's most exciting growth businesses. For the trust it brings increased visibility, and for shareholders looking to buy or sell it offers increased liquidity."


Brexit winners and losers

Helal Miah, investment research analyst at The Share Centre, says the two businesses that will leave the FTSE 100 have been among the Brexit losers.

Dixons Carphone has faced higher import costs as a result of the weaker pound, while Capita's share price has been hit by concerns over future contracts and their length, which have dropped from an average of eight years to seven.

Miah adds that in contrast Scottish Mortgage has been given a Brexit boost. He adds: "At a time when markets are rising, fund managers are accumulating their assets and building on their portfolios at every opportunity, which could explain the rise to the top.

"With 95% of its holdings weighing towards international investments, it's possible that its recent success is as a result of it benefiting from the weaker pound," he says.


When companies are promoted to the index, their share prices tend to bounce higher, due to the fact that FTSE 100 tracker funds, which aim to replicate the performance of the index, are obliged to buy into them.

The reverse is true of stocks being demoted: share prices fall as tracker funds automatically unwind their positions.

Scottish Mortgage has benefited from its holdings in US and Chinese technology firms such as Amazon, Facebook, Alphabet, Alibaba, Baidu and Tencent, and is up by an impressive 172% over the past five years to the start of March.

This story was originally written for our sister magazine, Money Observer.

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