JPMorgan Claverhouse (JCH) invests in predominantly large cap UK companies, with a focus on those that provide consistent and growing dividends.
The managers, William Meadon and Callum Abbot, often refer to the trust as a "get rich slow" fund, aiming to consistently outperform its benchmark index, the FTSE All-share. The duo utilise a bottom up stock picking approach, and place an emphasis on understanding the value, quality and momentum characteristics of a company before making an investment decision. The portfolio holds between 60-80 stocks, reflecting a change in strategy made in 2012, with the managers having been encouraged to adopt a more ‘high conviction’ approach. As such, the managers are not afraid to run their winners, and subject to risk controls, have conviction positions in the portfolio. This is illustrated through the top ten holdings making up over 45% of the portfolio.
The trust has a strong track record of outperformance, and since the change of strategy seven years ago JCH has generated NAV returns of 101.2%. This is considerably more than the FTSE All Share (69.8%) and the AIC (90.8%) and IA peer groups (73.8%). In more recent times, the performance has been subject to the volatility of the market, especially in Q4 2018. Since then however, the trust has rallied and has returned close to 14% year to date.
Perhaps even more impressive than its total returns, is the trust’s dividend history. Currently yielding 3.9%, the trust’s 2018 dividend represented the 46th successive year of growth and was a 5.8% increase over the previous year. Furthermore, the trust has exceptionally strong revenue reserves, and the most recent dividend was covered close to 1.3x by revenue reserves.
Over the past year the trust has traded on an average discount of 0.9%, considerably narrower than the AIC sector one-year average discount of 5.4%. With this said, and in common with many other UK-focused trusts, the discount has widened somewhat over the past couple months and currently sits at 4.5%.