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Janus Henderson plans to consolidate European investment trusts

14 March 2024

The merged European equity trust will be larger and cheaper, with the same fund managers at the helm.

By Jean-Baptiste Andrieux,

Reporter, Trustnet

The boards of Henderson European Focus Trust and Henderson Euro Trust have agreed to a proposed merger, with a view to creating an enlarged, flagship European investment trust.

Net assets of the future investment company, Henderson European Trust, should reach circa £750m, resulting in the creation of the second largest vehicle in the IT Europe sector. The new trust should also be eligible for inclusion in the FTSE 250 index.

Moreover, fixed costs should be proportionately reduced, along with the revised management fees, producing an ongoing charge ratio of 0.7%. This compares to 0.8% for Henderson European Focus Trust and 0.79% for Henderson Euro Trust.

Janus Henderson’s European Equity team will manage the new Henderson European Trust, with Tom O’Hara and Jamie Ross at the helm. O’Hara currently manages the Henderson European Focus Trust with FE fundinfo Alpha Manager John Bennett, who plans to retire in the third quarter of this year. Ross leads the Henderson Euro Trust.

The merger is subject to shareholder, regulatory and tax approvals.

The trust’s mandate will be to maximise total return by investing in companies predominantly listed in Europe ex-UK, with a focus on Europe’s ‘global champions’.

Janus Henderson stated that the portfolio will be concentrated, with no particular style bias and an emphasis on long-term growth underpinned by enduring global trends.

Dan Howe, head of investment companies at Janus Henderson Investors, said: "We expect that this flagship investment trust, managed within our award-winning European team, will appeal to investors looking for exposure and performance from 'global champions’ based in Europe, a region so often overlooked but that is home to many of the world’s biggest, best and most-enduring companies."

Performance of investment trusts over 10yrs vs sector and benchmark

Source: FE Analytics

Henderson European Focus Trust has been managed by Bennett since December 2010 and O’Hara since January 2020.

Over the past decade, the investment company sits in the third quartile of the IT Europe sector, as it returned 141.7% to investors.

Meanwhile, Henderson Euro Trust, managed by Ross since September 2018, has been a second-quartile performer over 10 years, only lagging Fidelity European and BlackRock Greater Europe.

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Data provided by FE fundinfo. Care has been taken to ensure that the information is correct, but FE fundinfo neither warrants, represents nor guarantees the contents of information, nor does it accept any responsibility for errors, inaccuracies, omissions or any inconsistencies herein. Past performance does not predict future performance, it should not be the main or sole reason for making an investment decision. The value of investments and any income from them can fall as well as rise.