Manchester & London Investment Trust (MNL) aims to generate capital appreciation and a reasonable level of income. Managed by Mark Sheppard (who also controls M&M Investment Ltd, which owns over 50% of MNL’s shares) and Richard Morgan, the investment policy has seen a seismic shift since 2015.
The investment process has become increasingly defined by a thesis the managers term ‘Long the Future’ (detailed under Portfolio). In essence, the managers’ conviction is that technological development is reaching a tipping point and that future economies will ultimately see machines exercising more economic power than labour. Therefore, MNL focusses on technology companies, using a highly concentrated approach. Over 90% of the portfolio is in the top 10 positions (as of 30/04/2020). The managers use derivatives (options, contracts for difference) to adjust the net equity exposure, ordinarily holding between an 80% and 120% net long position in equities and adjusting exposure tactically.
Options are also written to manage stock-specific risk. These helped MNL to mitigate some of the significant market downside seen in Q1 2020 (as discussed under Performance). Share price and operational momentum are closely monitored, and share-price momentum is used to inform decisions around deployment of derivatives.
An unusual additional feature of the trust is that every year shareholders with more than 2,500 shares (worth c. £15k as of 19/05/2020) are entered into a prize draw for centre-court seats at Wimbledon.