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Liontrust creates Global Innovation team and moves two funds to the Global Fundamental team

Photo of Storm Uru and James Dowey

Liontrust has created an eighth investment team and the Income and US Opportunities funds have moved from the Global Equity team to the Global Fundamental team with effect from 19 July 2022.

The new Global Innovation team is co-headed by James Dowey and Storm Uru who are supported by Clare Pleydell-Bouverie. Previously part of the Global Equity team, the team manages the Liontrust Global Innovation and Liontrust Global Dividend funds.

James and Storm jointly developed the Global Innovation investment process. The three managers joined Liontrust as part of the acquisition of Neptune Investment Management in October 2019.

James has 16 years of industry experience and has researched and taught the history of innovation at the London School of Economics, Storm has 10 years’ industry experience and Clare undertook third party research for private equity firms across a variety of industries before moving to Neptune.

The team’s investment philosophy is based on their belief that innovation is the single most important driver of stock returns. This philosophy is underpinned by three pillars:

  • Innovative companies deliver superior fundamental performance and shareholder returns over the long run.
  • Innovation is much more than technology and is the biggest driver of success in every sector.
  • Innovation is complementary to the traditional investment styles of value and quality and a key part of a balanced portfolio in the 21st century.

 

Storm took over management of the Liontrust Global Dividend Fund at the end of August 2017 and was joined by James in February 2021. Over five years to 4 July 2022, the Fund was ranked 3rd in the IA Global Equity Income sector out of 47 funds (Source: Financial Express, as at 18.07.22, total return, net of fees, income reinvested). James started managing the Global Innovation Fund in July 2019 and was joined by Storm in February 2021.

Chris Field becomes the lead manager of the Income Fund following its move from the Global Equity to the Global Fundamental team and is supported by James O’Connor, who has been Deputy Manager of the Fund since November 2021, and Dan Ekstein.

The Income Fund will continue to be managed to the existing investment process. The Fund invests in “dependable income stocks”, which are companies that exhibit three distinct characteristics: a structural growth proposition, competitive advantage and dividend growth. To negate style bias and ensure stock selection is the primary driver of the Fund’s active risk, the portfolio is evenly divided across three silos: Steady Eddies, Hidden Fruits and Economic Recovery stocks.

The LF Liontrust UK Equity Income Fund, which is managed by Chris Field and Deputy Manager Dan Ekstein, applies a different, more flexible investment process and currently has a mid cap bias in contrast to the large cap bias of the Income Fund.

In managing the LF Liontrust UK Equity Income Fund, Chris seeks to identify businesses whose share prices exhibit a “valuation gap” and appear to be below their long-term worth. The process is particularly interested in businesses whose potential is misunderstood by the market and their flexible approach enables the managers to select unloved value stocks and remain invested after they have transitioned to become growth companies, with valuations rising accordingly.

The Liontrust US Opportunities Fund has also moved from the Global Equity to the Global Fundamental team, with George Boyd-Bowman continuing to manage the Fund and applying the existing investment process. The process is based on the belief that technological disruption will have a marked impact on global stock markets. George invests in three categories of companies – disruptors, embracers and enablers – which provide the portfolio with a mix of growth, value and more cyclical stocks.

By moving to the Global Fundamental team, George will be able to work alongside Hong Yi Chen, who manages the Liontrust GF US Equity Fund.

John Ions, Chief Executive of Liontrust, commented: “Liontrust’s continued growth and expansion, including of our client base, is giving us the opportunity to develop investment talent. This is demonstrated by the creation of the Global Innovation team and moving the Income and US Opportunities funds to the Global Fundamental team.

“Storm and James have developed a distinct investment process and the Global Dividend Fund has delivered impressive performance over three and five years. This has led to strong interest in the Fund, particularly among wealth managers.

“Bringing together the two UK equity income and the two US funds into one team adds value to investors by strengthening the resources devoted to these asset classes. Each of the funds will benefit from larger teams providing portfolio management along with stock analysis and selection.”

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