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Garrett-Cox takes aim at Alliance Trust critics

Garrett-Cox takes aim at Alliance Trust critics

Alliance Trust chief executive Katherine Garrett-Cox said the investment trust’s new unconstrained approach would serve to rebuff criticism its global portfolio did not add value to investors.

‘One of the criticisms I’ve received is that they say: “I can buy all of these companies in the UK, so where are you adding value?”’ she said.

Garrett-Cox added: ‘When we announced the restructure and went on the raid in September, people got it. Where we’ve been successful, is that we [now] have a truly global offering.’

The investment trust shares are trading at a discount of just under 15%, something which Alliance Trust has been criticised for sine activist investor Laxey Partners launched an attack on the vehicle two years ago.

Garrett-Cox (pictured) said there was no target discount, but added she would like to ‘trade more in line with the peer group’.

Alliance Trust head of equities Ilario Di Bon has cut the investment trust’s holdings from 200 to 97 and has made sustainable transport its main theme.

One of the new holdings in Hynundai Mobis, a South Korean auto parts supplier. According to Di Bon, it commanded the lion share of the value created across the Hyundai Group.

Di Bon added he had ‘beefed up’ the theme of Asian automation, emerging luxury and introduced the new theme of ‘eating habits’.

One holding which illustrates eating habits is Novo Nordisk, a Danish global producer of insulin for the treatment of diabetics.

‘The flip side of Mcdonald’s success in China is that the rate of diabetes is going to explode over the next seven to ten years, so Novo Nordisk is well positioned in China,’ he said.

Di Bon has also added Roche, the Swiss pharmaceuticals company, as a pioneer in personalised medicine, as well as Qualcomm, a US mobile technology company, which is now the second largest holding in the trust.

‘Once we identify our best ideas we make sure that, over time, they can have a very meaningful impact instead of being diluted across a number of lower conviction holdings,’ he said.

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