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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 Private Equity Trust

Measured addition of domestic US fund exposure

Review | Investment Companies | 13 Jul 2018

Standard Life Private Equity Trust (SLPET) continues to follow a long-term, conviction approach to selecting primarily European private equity buyout funds, managing its exposure through the primary and secondary fund markets. Having broadened its investment policy in 2017, SLPET added exposure to a domestic US manager by acquiring a secondary position in Onex Partners IV in H118, and recently made a new primary commitment to MSouth Equity Partners IV, with the manager undertaking due diligence on a number of other US funds. SLPET has achieved above-average NAV returns among its fund of fund peers over one, three and five years, and has also outperformed UK and European stock market indices over these periods. SLPET has a competitive ongoing charge versus peers and its 3.8% yield ranks at the top of the peer group.

Standard Life Equity Income Trust

Accelerating dividend growth

Review | Investment Companies | 11 Jul 2018

Standard Life Equity Income Trust (SLET) aims to generate a generous level of dividend as well as long-term growth in capital and income. The board has announced that the FY18 dividend will be at least 18.7p, which is +9.4% year-on-year, considerably higher growth than the rate of UK inflation. This increase will mean that SLET’s dividend has grown for 18 consecutive years. Manager Thomas Moore is continuing to find attractively valued companies with positive fundamentals. He is confident that investment performance will improve with a change in investor focus away from high-growth, highly valued stocks, and he will be able to build on the trust’s positive longer-term record. He says the current growth style bias in the UK stock market means that reasonably priced companies delivering strong results are not being rewarded with higher valuations.

Standard Life Investments Property Income Trust

Embracing the changing environment

Review | Investment Companies | 12 Jun 2018

Standard Life Investments Property Income Trust (SLI) is managed by Jason Baggaley. He aims to deliver an attractive level of income with the potential for income and capital growth from a diversified portfolio of UK commercial property. The manager notes that the industry is in a period of change, such as in the office sector, where tenants are demanding a higher level of service from their landlords. Baggaley says that SLI is embracing and benefiting from the changing environment, continuing to forge strong relationships with its tenants. He is cautiously optimistic about future returns from UK property and is building on his positive long-term performance track record. SLI's NAV total return has outperformed its IPD Monthly Index Funds (quarterly version) benchmark over the last one, three, five and 10 years. The trust offers an attractive 5.0% dividend yield.

Standard Life UK Smaller Companies

Strong track record of outperformance

Review | Investment Companies | 28 Mar 2018

Standard Life UK Smaller Companies Trust (SLS) is managed by Harry Nimmo, who aims to generate long-term capital growth from a portfolio of smaller-cap UK equities. The trust has a strong performance track record; it has meaningfully outpaced its benchmark over one, three, five and 10 years. SLS has also outperformed the majority of its peers over these periods, ranking second out of 10 funds over one and three years, fifth over five years and first over 10 years. The trust has recently changed its benchmark to include AIM stocks, reflecting SLS’s increasing exposure to this area of the UK stock market, as the board and manager consider the quality of these companies has improved in recent years.

Standard Life Private Equity Trust

Moving to quarterly dividends with improved yield

Review | Investment Companies | 07 Feb 2018

Standard Life Private Equity Trust (SLPET) takes a long-term, conviction approach to fund selection, evidenced by its new primary commitments in FY17 being made to private equity managers where there was a strong existing relationship. NAV total returns have been ahead of peers over three and five years, and share price returns have noticeably outpaced NAV returns over one year. The share price discount to NAV has narrowed markedly from c 36% in early 2016 to c 14% currently, arguably due in part to the strength of SLPET’s underlying performance, as well as its revised dividend policy, with improved and more frequent payouts scheduled. The manager sees portfolio companies’ earnings growth continuing to drive value creation, with the maturity profile of SLPET’s portfolio suggesting further near-term upside potential from prospective realisations.

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.