Investment policy

The Company’s objective is to provide investors, over the longer term, with above-average returns through a diversified portfolio of international equities and to achieve dividend growth ahead of UK inflation.

In order to achieve this objective, the Company invests in an integrated global portfolio constructed through an investment process whereby assets are primarily allocated on the basis of the investment merits of individual stocks rather than those of regions, sectors or themes.

The Company’s portfolio is actively managed and typically will contain 50 to 100 listed international equity investments. The portfolio is widely diversified both by industrial sector and geographic location of investments in order to spread investment risk.

Whilst performance is compared against major global and UK indices, the composition of indices has no influence on investment decisions or the construction of the portfolio. As a result, it is expected that the Company’s investment portfolio and performance may deviate from the comparator indices.

Since the Company’s assets are invested globally and without regard to the composition of any index, there are no restrictions on maximum or minimum exposures to specific geographic regions, industry sectors or unlisted investments. However, such exposures are reported in detail to, and monitored by, the Board at each board meeting in order to ensure that adequate diversification is maintained.

Liquidity and long-term borrowings are managed with the aim of improving returns to shareholders. In pursuing its investment objective, from time to time the Company will hold certain financial instruments comprising equity and non-equity shares, fixed income securities, interests in limited partnerships, structured products and cash and liquid resources. The Company may use derivatives, other than in relation to the sale of index futures, for hedging or tactical investment purposes. The Company may only sell index futures for efficient portfolio management purposes. For the avoidance of doubt, any derivative instrument may only be used with the prior authorisation of the Board.

The Company has the ability to enter into contracts to hedge against currency risks on both capital and income.

The Company’s investment activities are subject to the following limitations and restrictions:

  • under the Company’s articles of association, up to 40% of the Company’s total assets on the last audited balance sheet may be used to make investments of up to a maximum of 8% of the value of total assets in any one company, at the time the investment is made. Thereafter, individual investments may not exceed 3% of the value of total assets, at the time the investment is made;
    • the levels of gearing and gross gearing are monitored closely by the Board and the Manager. The Board currently limits gearing to 20%. While gearing will be employed in a typical range of 0% to 20%, the Company retains the ability to lower equity exposure to a net cash position if deemed appropriate;
    • the Company has a policy not to invest more than 15% of total assets in other listed closed-ended investment funds; and
    • the Company may not make investments in respect of which there is unlimited liability except that the Company may sell index futures for efficient portfolio management purposes.