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Looking to alternatives for profit

Ian Barrass tells Leonora Walters how he plans to turn around the performance of Henderson Value Trust
Looking to alternatives for profit

Since the financial crisis of 2007 and 2008, a number of assets have enjoyed significant gains. But an investment trust that did not join the rally was SVM Global Fund, which invests in alternative assets.

After five years of very poor performance, posting double-digit negative returns, last year the trust's board decided to look for a new manager. They appointed Henderson, which has run the trust, now known as Henderson Value Trust (HVTR), since 1 April this year. It is co-managed by Ian Barrass, Henderson's head of private equity fund of funds, and Paul Craig, a director in the company's multi-asset team.

"Historically, this trust was a specialist in alternative investments and there is still scope to do this successfully," says Mr Barrass. "We will not be changing the investment objective of outperforming the FTSE World Index. We are keeping this benchmark and looking to improve against it because a fund that invests in high-risk, illiquid and eclectic investments should do better than this. Or if not, why should people invest in something that complex?"

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