A Matter of Trust



I like companies where the interests of shareholders and management are aligned and touched on this in a recent post, Today’s Post is for Monty. Another slightly different example is The North Atlantic Smaller Companies Investment Trust, watched over by Harwood Capital and Christopher Mills.


This £400 million trust owns about 20% of North of England builder, MJ Gleeson and they have put Mills on the Board. A few weeks ago he sold nearly 300,000 shares in Gleeson with a value of £1.7 million. The Trust, in which he is a substantial shareholder as well as fund manager, still holds more than 11 million Gleeson shares. Clearly the Trust relies to perhaps too great an extent on the financial good health of Gleeson.

Here is a story where Mill’s stake in the Trust is not altogether a good thing. His stake makes the Trust impregnable from predators and so the share price is at a 17% discount to its Net Asset Value. At some point this will correct but you might have to wait a long time. Also, it appears not to pay a dividend. So, although it ticks some of the boxes, it isn’t on my shopping list.

In The Jet Set I wrote about Sir Peter Bazalgette’s appointment  as Chairman of ITV. He has already displayed some confidence in ITV by buying shares worth just under £400,000. Well done Sir P.

Meanwhile, after an appalling rout in the second half of last year, emerging markets are showing signs of recovery and the oil price has got back to about $40. Investing in Equities remains as dull as ever; like my new wisteria they often take a long time to blossom.