AIC publishes latest list of investment company ‘dividend heroes’

by | Mar 14, 2022

The Association of Investment Companies (AIC) has published the latest list of 17 dividend heroes, investment companies which have consistently increased their annual dividends for at least 20 years in a row.

Seven of the 17 dividend heroes have now increased their dividends for 50 or more consecutive years. City of London, Bankers and Alliance are out in front with 55 years of dividend rises, followed by Caledonia Investments (54 years), BMO Global Smaller Companies (51) and F&C Investment Trust (51). The latest addition to the over 50 years club is Brunner which announced its 50th year of increased dividends on 16 February.

A further four dividend heroes have increased their dividends each year for between 40 and 49 years and three dividend heroes have increased their dividends consecutively for between 30 and 39 years. A full table of all 17 dividend heroes is below.

Annabel Brodie-Smith, Communications Director of the Association of Investment Companies (AIC), said: “With markets remaining volatile and inflation rising rapidly following the heart-wrenching war in Ukraine, investors are looking for ways to protect their income. Investment companies’ ability to hold back up to 15% of the income they receive each year in a revenue reserve gives them an enormous advantage in delivering income to investors. This means investment companies can boost their dividends in years when income would otherwise have fallen short, something investors will be thankful for in these uncertain times.

“It’s a great achievement that we now have seven dividend heroes with at least half a century of unbroken annual dividend increases. These dividend heroes have consistently raised their dividend every year during the inflationary environment of the 1970s and through the market crashes of Black Monday, the tech bust, the financial crisis and the pandemic.” 

Investment company dividend heroes

Investment company AIC sector Number of consecutive years dividend increased Dividend yield (%) 5-year annualised dividend growth rate (%)
City of London UK Equity Income 55 4.97 3.74
Bankers Global 55 2.13 5.06
Alliance Trust Global 55 2.08 8.33
Caledonia Investments Flexible Investment 54 1.86 3.64
BMO Global Smaller Companies Global Smaller Companies 51 1.20 10.34
F&C Investment Trust Global 51 1.60 5.38
Brunner Global 50 2.04 4.98
JPMorgan Claverhouse UK Equity Income 49 4.49 5.81
Murray Income UK Equity Income 48 4.30 1.36
Scottish American Global Equity Income 48 2.73 3.21
Witan Global 47 2.59 8.06
Merchants Trust UK Equity Income 39 5.15 2.53
Scottish Mortgage Global 39 0.39 2.93
Value and Indexed Property Income Property – UK Commercial 34 5.47 3.22
BMO Capital & Income UK Equity Income 28 3.99 2.41
Schroder Income Growth UK Equity Income 26 4.35 3.84
Aberdeen Standard Equity Income UK Equity Income 21 6.29 6.60

Source: AIC/Morningstar. Data at 09 March 2022

Why does being a dividend hero matter to your shareholders?

Mark Atkinson, Head of Marketing and Investor Relations at Alliance Trust, said: “Those of our shareholders who are looking for income greatly value the confidence they can have in the consistently growing dividends we provide for them. Alliance Trust is a core holding for long-term investors seeking capital growth and rising income. We know our investors have financial goals and rely on their investments to support those goals, whether pension saving, inheritance planning, paying off the mortgage or helping the children buy a home.”

Peter Ewins, Manager of BMO Smaller Companies Investment Trust, said: “We know that a lot of our shareholders like the progressive dividend and our aim is to deliver a high total return with capital performance alongside this – smaller company investors are looking for capital growth in the main but if we can also deliver them higher income year by year, then all the better.”

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