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Ollie Beckett: how I turned round TR European Growth
Manager of TR European Growth (TREG) explains how he improved performance of investment trust with a focus on domestic, smaller stocks.
Ollie Beckett, manager of the TR European Growth (TREG.L ) investment trust, succeeded Stephen Peak in the summer of 2011. In this video interview he explains how he returned the fund to its roots as an investor in smaller company shares.
He has also focused the portfolio on stocks exposed to the European economy rather than the global economy and emerging markets. 'Stop apologising for being a European equity fund manager,' as he puts it.
Beckett explains how smaller companies can be more volatile and responsive to changes in economic conditions than larger companies. However, he argues that smaller stocks beat larger stocks in the recovery from the financial crisis. Although he admits the latest economic news from the eurozone has been poor, reviving fears of deflation, over the year newsflow has been better. 'Europe is getting less bad,' he says.
Beckett likes companies that don't let a crisis to waste and take actions to strengthen their position. Many of the companies in he holds, like Wirecard, the processor of online payments, have bought rivals or, like United Internet, have invested in the business, or like Nexity, have taken market share when opponents are struggling.
Over 10 years TREG's shares have delivered a total return of 280%, ranking it bottom out three in its small sector, some way behind JPMorgan European Smaller Companies . Over one year, however, it leads the sector with a 65% return.