Fund of the week: Casting a net for immature entrepreneurs

If you’re looking for a top-performing investment trust, you could do worse than the Edinburgh Worldwide Investment Trust (EWI). The Baillie Gifford-run trust
is “one of the best performing Global sector investment trusts”, says Leonora Walters in the Investors Chronicle, and has significantly outperformed its benchmark, the MSCI All Countries World Index.

Over five years it delivered a 221% return – nearly twice its benchmark’s. It returned 61.6% over three years and 36.4% over one year.

But the question is whether the trust’s new manager, Douglas Brodie, who replaced Mark Urquhart, can keep this up, given Baillie Gifford has changed its investment strategy.

Concerns over the lack of difference between EWI’s buyand hold approach and that of rival trusts may have led to “a decline in liquidity” of its shares, as well as “greater discount volatility”, says the trust’s chairman in the annual report.

In the last ten years EWI has traded at more than 10% discount to net asset value, notes Walters.

Edinburgh Worldwide IT share price chartBrodie will be casting his net for “immature entrepreneurial” firms worth less than $5bn, with long-term growth potential.

Fortunately, he has had success with Baillie Gifford’s British Smaller Companies Fund and its Global Discovery Fund. The trust’s deputy manager, John MacDougall, runs its Shin Nippon fund.

Just under 44% of EWI’s holdings are in North America, 34% are in Europe, 22% in UK equities, 6.2% in German ones, and 11.7% are in Asian stocks. The annual charge is 0.99%. The trust would suit investors looking for greater exposure to global smaller companies, and who are comfortable with the risks.

Contact: 0800-917 2112

Edinburgh Worldwide IT top ten holdings
Name of Holding % of assets
Ocado 3.50%
IPSA Group 3.10%
Stratasys Ltd 3.00%
Alnylam Pharmaceuticals 3.00%
TripAdvisor Inc 2.60%
Tesla Motors Inc 2.60%
MarketAxess Holdings 2.30%
Dexcom Inc 2.20%
ASOS 2.10%
Xaar 2.10%