This was our first meeting with the team although we have met Andrew (Andy) Lister when he managed the Aberdeen Emerging Markets Trust. The strategy should be seen as an alternative investment source. It will be more volatile but aims to deliver over a 5-to-7-year timeframe between 10% and 12% p.a. The strategy was launched 4 years ago and has achieved returns significantly above this despite negative periods in the markets in 2018, 2020 and 2022.
The strategy looks to invest across all private markets. This includes private equity, private credit, REITS, infrastructure, and commodities. One of our concerns is the perceived risk and negative sentiment towards this part of the market. Andy explained that the universe is broad, and many companies choose to be unlisted because to go listed is expensive, there are increased regulatory pressures and there are pressures around quarterly reporting. All of this can be detrimental to a business’s growth.
Investing in private equity doesn’t have to be speculative and they invest in two ways. Around two thirds of the portfolio is invested in traditional investment companies like 3i. These types of companies are involved with private markets. Although the underlying investments are unlisted, the companies Andy invests in are listed and therefore can be traded. The balance of the fund is invested in asset managers. An example would be Capital Group who are a specialist private credit and equity manager. They have around 20 strategies they are running and through the structure they operate they have predictable earnings….read more