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29 Mar 2021

Henderson European Focus Trust

Company Notes

Portfolio positioned for economic re-opening

Henderson European Focus* is managed by John Bennett and Tom O’Hara of Janus Henderson Investors. The managers describe their investment approach as style agnostic and, while they have a strong price discipline, they invest in quality growth stocks. The portfolio is concentrated, with 45 holdings, and activity has been high over the last 12 months. Autos and banks were added in the third quarter of 2020, while the final quarter saw investment in oil stocks. This year the portfolio has been tilted towards ‘re-opening’ and the ‘consumer V-shape’. In terms of ESG, the managers are focused on the ability of companies to change, with the largest holding, LafargeHolcim, a cement manufacturer, offered as an example of a company moving towards more sustainable operations.

Over the last ten years the fund has delivered a positive NAV total return of 197% compared with a return of 115% for the FTSE World Europe (ex UK) Index, while in share price total return terms it is also up 197%. In addition, it has outperformed its peer group, which is up 155% and 178% in NAV and share price returns respectively. Over the last ten years it has traded on an average discount of 7%, although it has seen considerable volatility in its rating over that period.

*Denotes a corporate broking client of Winterflood Securities