Martin Currie Global Portfolio Trust (MNP) aims to achieve long-term capital growth, in excess of the FTSE World index, whilst offering solid income for investors. Recently, there has been a change of lead-manager: having been at the helm of the trust for over 18 years, 2018 saw Tom Walker step down, and Zehrid Osmani take over, having joined Martin Currie in June. Although the objective remains the same, Zehrid brings with him a more concentrated approach, and an exceptional track record for generating alpha at BlackRock. This has led to a transition in the portfolio.
Having further concentrated the portfolio, it now has only 34 holdings, and with the top ten holdings making up over a third of the portfolio, the new manager is clearly willing to back his bets. MNP has an active share of 93.8% (versus the FTSE World), further showing the active and unconstrained approach. The investment strategy has been aligned with Martin Currie’s distinctive Global Long-Term Unconstrained (GLTU) philosophy where the team looks for companies with high-quality growth characteristics, which they believe are undervalued. In particular, Zehrid is looking for companies who generate high returns on invested capital (ROIC), and the potential to sustain or further improve this. The portfolio has a slight bias toward large-cap equities and exposure is broadly diversified in geographical terms, although there is a significant weighting to the US – where over a third of the fund has revenue exposure. The largest sector weightings include industrials, technology and consumer goods, both on an absolute and relative basis.
With the arrival of Zehrid there is evidence to believe that the trust’s fortunes have changed as it has risen up the sector rankings, following a period of lesser performance. Since he joined, the trust has delivered NAV returns of 2.8%, almost double the benchmark (1.5%) and over 5% greater than the global closed-ended (-2.4%) and open-ended (-0.1%) peer groups.
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Fund History: Martin Currie Global Portfolio Trust
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