A year ago, the Henderson ‘Industries of the Future’ team merged with WHEB Asset Management, with Tim Dieppe taking over as manager of the IM WHEB Sustainability portfolio. Managing partner George Latham, ex-Henderson, marks the anniversary with a summary of the team’s achievements over the last 12 months.
When we combined the two teams, it was our objective to create a differentiated proposition centred on a single investment strategy. We believe we have three very distinctive characteristics that set us apart from our peers:
– A strategic focus on a clearly defined investment universe which represents powerful sustainable growth
– An integrated, stock-led research process based on a long-term approach that enables us to look beyond the narrow, near-term view of much of the market
– We are a partnership and our business is focused, independent and client-driven – closely aligned with clients’ interests and highly open and transparent
So what have we achieved over our first year?
We’ve built a world-class investment team of five highly experienced people with complementary skillsets. Our investment process is long-term, fundamental and able to integrate environmental, social and governance analysis in a way that we believe is both highly innovative and is likely to lead to analytical insights which should capture additional alpha.
We have an average holding period over the past year running at over four years.
The investment process, which has its roots firmly in the team’s history with the Industries of the Future strategy that Tim Dieppe managed successfully over seven years at Henderson, is structured and transparent.
The history, track record and current approach have now started to attract affirmation from independent consultants. We are thrilled that in the past year the fund has achieved both a bronze rating from Morningstar OBSR, and a silver grading from S&P Capital IQ.
At the same time, we have made significant strides with making the fund available to intermediaries and potential investors. We launched our clean unbundled retail distribution review (RDR) ‘C’ share class in September and in February we added Cofunds to the list of platforms on which the fund is available.
A year ago, the fund was simply too small for a number of potential clients to consider, but we have now started to make real progress on building the client base, and over the last six months in particular we have grown the fund from under £25m assets under management at the end of October 2012 to over £46m at the end of April 2013.
For us, these are just the first steps to creating a great business for our clients for many years to come. Being a partnership introduces a particular kind of incentive for the team at WHEB.
Our interests are served by building a really valuable business over the rest of our careers, not by any short-term profit or bonus plan as is the case in most asset managers. Each of the partners has invested a significant amount of their own money in the fund, so our clients’ experience is very much our own.
We have also chosen to focus the business on a narrow range of products where we are really confident we can deliver. In the long-term, we want WHEB Asset Management to become recognised as a different kind of investment business, which puts our clients’ interests right at the heart of everything we do.