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Standard Life UK Smaller Companies

High-conviction portfolio of UK smaller-cap stocks

Review | Investment Companies | 12 Jan 2017

Standard Life UK Smaller Companies Trust (SLS) aims to generate long-term capital growth from a portfolio of high-quality smaller-cap UK equities. Manager Harry Nimmo follows a long-standing, consistent investment process to construct a relatively concentrated portfolio of c 55 high-conviction holdings. SLS’s NAV total returns are ahead of the benchmark Numis Smaller Companies ex-Investment Companies index over three, five and 10 years and SLS leads the pack versus peers over 10 years. SLS’s annual dividend has compounded at an average annual rate of 23.5% over the last 10 years.

Standard Life Equity Income Trust

Unconstrained approach to UK equity investing

Review | Investment Companies | 17 Jan 2018

Standard Life Equity Income Trust (SLET) has been managed by Thomas Moore since 2011. He aims to generate above-average income and real capital and income growth from a portfolio of UK equities, which is invested across the market cap spectrum. Following an index-agnostic approach, the manager has restructured SLET’s income stream over the past few years and shareholders are now enjoying a higher distribution, with less revenue going into reserves. The board has recently announced a higher than previously forecast final dividend for FY17 and says the annual dividend in FY18 will be at least 5% higher than the FY17 distribution. SLET’s current dividend yield is 3.5%.

Standard Life Investments Property Income Trust

Strong track record in UK commercial property

Review | Investment Companies | 07 Dec 2017

Standard Life Investments Property Income Trust (SLI) holds an actively managed portfolio of UK commercial property. Since September 2006, the trust has been managed by Jason Baggaley, who aims to generate an attractive level of income with the potential for income and capital growth. SLI has a strong performance track record o its NAV total return has outperformed its benchmark IPD Monthly Index Funds (quarterly version) over one, three, and five years, while its share price total return has also outperformed over 10 years. SLI regularly trades at a premium, which the board aims to manage via share issuance.

Standard Life Equity Income Trust

Investment performance back on track

Review | Investment Companies | 07 Aug 2017

Standard Life Equity Income Trust (SLET) aims to generate above-average income and real capital and income growth from a relatively concentrated portfolio of c 50-70 UK equities. Since 2011, SLET has been managed by Thomas Moore, who says that the trust’s strong revenue growth is leading to higher dividend growth. The board has indicated that the FY17 annual dividend will be at least 9.1% higher than in FY16. Following a tough period of relative performance surrounding the Brexit vote, as companies with domestic businesses underperformed those with overseas operations, the manager is now more positive on the outlook. SLET’s performance is improving versus both the FTSE All-Share benchmark and its peer group. Moore is placing greater emphasis on higher-growth smaller companies that are reasonably valued and have faster-than-average dividend growth.

Standard Life UK Smaller Companies

Long-term positive performance track record

Review | Investment Companies | 07 Aug 2017

Standard Life UK Smaller Companies Trust (SLS) has been managed by Harry Nimmo since 2003. He aims to generate long-term capital growth from a diversified portfolio of smaller-cap UK equites. While a little more cautious on the near-term outlook for small caps given, their strong start to the year and Brexit-related uncertainty, Nimmo remains very positive on the longer-term outlook. He suggests that the portfolio’s companies have potential earnings growth of 10-15% pa, which bodes well for SLS’s dividend growth. The trust has a very strong performance track record; it has outperformed its Numis Smaller Companies ex-Investment Companies Index benchmark over one, three, five and 10 years. Over the last 10 years, SLS’s dividend has compounded at an annual rate of 23.5%; its current yield is 1.5%.

Standard Life Investments Property Income Trust

UK REIT generates net income surplus in FY16

Review | Investment Companies | 23 May 2017

Standard Life Investments Property Income Trust (SLI) aims to generate both income and capital growth from investing directly in UK commercial property. Its emphasis continues to be on generating above-average income for shareholders and it currently yields 5.4%. In FY16, the dividend was 117% covered by earnings and the manager, Jason Baggaley, is reasonably sanguine about future dividend prospects. Relative performance is measured against the quarterly version of the IPD Monthly Index Funds, which is representative of UK direct property funds. SLI has outperformed this benchmark, in NAV total return terms, over one, three and five years.

Standard Life Private Equity Trust

Focused on a broader opportunity set

Update | Investment Companies | 02 May 2017

Standard Life Private Equity Trust (SLPE) aims to achieve long-term total returns via investing in a focused, primarily European portfolio of leading private equity buyout funds. The investment policy was revised in January 2017, removing size and geographic restrictions, to enlarge the investment opportunity set without diluting the trust's strategy and focus. New fee arrangements have been agreed, with a single annual management fee of 0.95% of NAV and no incentive fee. The board has also stated its intention to raise the FY17 dividend to 12.0p, equating to a 3.8% yield, and grow it at least in line with inflation. Returns have been notably strong over one year.

UK Commercial Property Trust

Income key in world of low numbers

Initiation | Investment Companies | 31 Mar 2017

UK Commercial Property Trust (UKCM) is a property investment company which seeks to generate an attractive and sustainable income with potential for capital and income growth by investing in high quality UK real estate. UKCM was set up in 2006, aiming to appeal to institutions as well as private investors by adopting a lower risk profile by focusing on prime assets and maintaining a conservative level of gearing. In April 2015, following Standard Life Investments' (SL) acquisition of Ignis Asset Management, Will Fulton became lead manager. He reshaped UKCM's portfolio to reflect SL's house view, while retaining the conservative approach. NAV total return was ahead of its benchmark in 2016, following the repositioning of the portfolio in 2015.

LPEQ

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Sector report: | Investment Companies | 02 Mar 2017

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Standard Life Equity Income Trust

Unconstrained investment in UK equities

Review | Investment Companies | 30 Jan 2017

Standard Life Equity Income Trust (SLET) aims to generate above-average income and real growth in capital and income from a portfolio of UK equities across the capitalisation spectrum. At end-December 2016, more than 55% of the portfolio was invested outside of the FTSE 100 index. While the last year has seen a tough period of relative investment performance as a result of outperformance of large-cap companies with overseas earnings, which were not held, SLET continues to have a good long-term track record; it has outperformed the benchmark FTSE All-Share index over both five and 10 years. With the exception of one year of static dividends, SLET’s annual dividend has increased every year since launch.

Acorn Income Fund

Managers broadly positive for small caps in 2017

Review | Investment Companies | 09 Jan 2017

Acorn Income Fund (AIF) aims to achieve a high income and potential for capital growth by investing 70-80% of its assets in a portfolio of well-financed UK smaller companies with attractive valuations and dividend growth, and 20-30% in high-yielding securities to add income and reduce capital risk. While long-term performance has been strong, the immediate aftermath of the UK’s vote to leave the EU caused a decline in domestically focused small caps. Since the half-year (30 June), AIF’s NAV has recovered well and now stands at an all-time high; in contrast, the share price is more than 7% below its 12-month high, suggesting scope for the wider-than-average discount to narrow. AIF gears its portfolio using zero-dividend preference shares (ZDPs); shareholders recently approved a proposal to extend the life of the ZDPs to February 2022 at an accrual rate of 3.85% pa.

Standard Life Private Equity Trust

Countercyclical opportunity in prospect

Review | Investment Companies | 07 Nov 2016

Standard Life European Private Equity Trust (SEP) aims to achieve capital growth through investing in a focused portfolio of European (including UK) private equity funds that also give some underlying US exposure. SEP's NAV total return has outperformed the LPX Europe index, representing a European private equity (PE) peer group, and the FTSE All-Share index over one, three, five and 10 years, with recent returns enhanced by sterling weakness following the UK's vote to leave the EU. The manager sees anticipated slower UK economic growth as an opportunity for private equity fund managers to generate higher returns, and believes SEP is well positioned to provide investors with access to the countercyclical strategy of actively investing during a recessionary period and exiting as economies recover.