Lindsell Train launches North American fund

Equities product secretly launched during coronavirus lockdown

Nick Train

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Lindsell Train has revealed it secretly launched a North American fund in April as it seeks to build a succession plan beyond Michael Lindsell and Nick Train.

The UK Oeic is managed by James Bullock, who joined Lindsell Train in 2010 and co-manages the Global Equity portfolios alongside Lindsell and Train. Madeline Wright, who joined the equities boutique in 2012, will be an assistant manager on the fund.

It is the first fund launched by Lindsell Train since 2000 when its Global Equity fund was unveiled. That fund has now grown in size to more than £7bn worth of assets.

Existing Lindsell Train funds and investment trusts

Fund size Launch/appointment to mandate Sector
Finsbury Growth & Income Trust plc £1,649.1m Dec 2000 IT UK Equity Income
Lindsell Train Global Equity £7,361.9m Mar 2011 IA Global
Lindsell Train Japanese Equity £502.4m Feb 2004 IA Japan
LF Lindsell Train UK Equity £5,833.9 Jul 2006 IA UK All Companies
Lindsell Train IT plc £217.5m Jan 2001 IT Global
Source: FE Fundinfo

The Lindsell Train Investment Trust provided seed investment for the new fund, LF Lindsell Train North American Equity, which now accounts for 6% of the investment trust’s net asset value.

The Lindsell Train Japan fund was sold to free up cash for the transaction. It had initially also received seed funding from the Lindsell Train Investment Trust to get off the ground but now has more than £500m assets under management.

Train and Lindsell have also personally invested in the fund, which is the first Lindsell Train product in which they are not named managers.

“As we mature and think ever more seriously about succession, we believe now is the right time to introduce a new strategy,” they said in a letter detailing the launch. The launch provided Bullock and Wright “the opportunity to manage a strategy with complete autonomy”, it added.

Only a limited number of investment consultants and existing clients were told of the fund before launch due to the investment trust’s holding in the fund.

The fund will not be marketed to external investors until it has built up a “meaningful” track record, which Train told investors could be up to five years.

Train said the launch of the fund, and the resulting broadening and deepening of the investment team’s knowledge of North American companies, would be beneficial for the Global Equity strategy given 40% of its universe is US companies. It would also be beneficial for the investment trust’s holding in Lindsell Train Limited.

He said the “ingenuity and hard work” of Lindsell Train staff and its counterparties had helped get the fund off the ground, something he admitted he thought might not be possible during the lockdown.

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