The Bankers Investment Trust (BNKR) aims to reward investors who take the additional risk of investing overseas with total returns in excess of those they could have achieved at home (as measured by the FTSE All-Share Index). The trust has a diversified approach, with lead manager Alex Crooke setting the geographical allocation, and regional sub-portfolios managed by specialists at Henderson Global Investors. Value and income are key tenets of the investment process, and the trust has recently achieved a record 50th year of annual dividend growth. BNKR has a long-term record of outperformance versus its benchmark. In the past year it has simplified its fee structure and acted as one of two rollover vehicles for investors in Henderson Global Trust, boosting assets under management by c £60m.
BNKR’s lead manager, Alex Crooke, sets the geographical allocation and gearing level for the portfolio, as well as taking responsibility for the UK portfolio. Regional portfolios are managed by specialist colleagues at Henderson Global Investors. All the managers take a bottom-up approach to stock selection, and the overall style of the portfolio is biased towards investing in cash-generative, dividend-paying companies trading at attractive valuations. The aim is to achieve
With equity markets on both sides of the Atlantic having reached multiple all-time highs so far in 2017, investors could be forgiven for focusing more on potential risks than further rewards. Forward P/E valuations in most markets are well above 10- year averages and in some cases at or near 10-year highs. However, with scope for earnings improvements, continued support from a weaker sterling and many markets offering an attractive dividend yield, UK investors with a total return focus could still benefit from a more global approach to equity investing.
At 13 March 2017, BNKR’s shares traded at a 5.3% discount to cum-income net asset value. This is wider than the average over three years (3.8%) but narrower than the one-year average of 6.8%. The discount reached a three-year widest point of 11.7% immediately after the UK’s EU referendum, before sharply narrowing in early 2017 to a 12-month low of 1.9% at the end of February. NAV per share recently passed the 800p mark for the first time, and the shares currently yield 2.2%.