North Atlantic Drift

In March 2016 I wrote a post about North Atlantic Smaller Companies investment trust, A Matter of Trust. A year later I have bought some shares and I will tell you why.

At first sight it doesn’t seem a good idea. It doesn’t pay a dividend and the charges are higher than I like; a flat 1% of NAV and a performance fee on top. I paid £25.85, just shy of the all time high, £26.05. However they are trading at a 19% discount to Net Asset Value and 27% of the trust is in US Treasury Bills so if the stock market turns south that will provide some insulation. It seems rather a bargain to buy T Bills at a 19% discount.

Something else gave me encouragement. The Chairman has been adding to his holding for himself and his family. Peregrine Montcreiffe now has 2.9% of the company, worth more than £10 million, making my purchase insignificant. But the CEO, Christopher Mills, has also been adding to his holding. He bought £600,000 of shares at the end of last month and owns 27.9% of the company. I will save you the trouble and tell you that’s worth over £100 million. They are long term investors and I’m happy to be on board. I sold my holding in two companies to fund this trade and now, hurrah, only have shares in eight companies, as opposed to unit trusts, investment trusts and venture capital trusts.

Let me tell you a bit about them. Both Old Etonians, I was in the same house as Christopher; Peregrine rowed in the Oxford boat, was the first on Wall Street to have earnings over a million dollars, in the early 1980s. He came to dinner on election night in 1983 at my flat in New York and I remember him being a bit wistful seeing his Tory friends being returned to parliament. Christopher is a political animal too, currently business spokesman for UKIP – well we cannot be perfect.

One thought on “North Atlantic Drift”

  1. The Moncreiffe family are right up your strasse. Peregrine of course inherited the title “of that Ilk” from his father, Sir Iain. The baronetcy has been subsumed because his elder brother, Merlin, became Earl of Errol from his mother.
    Sir Iain was a regular speaker at the Cambridge Union were he would speak about his family until the “water” bottle in front of him was finished. He would then fall over and be taken back to Scotland. He was eminently qualified to talk on the subject and called himself the Master Snob.

    “A prominent member of the Lyon Court, Moncreiffe held the offices of Falkland Pursuivant (1952), Kintyre Pursuivant (1953), Unicorn Pursuivant (1955), and (from 1961) Albany Herald. He wrote a popular work about the Scottish clans, The Highland Clans (1967), and with Don Pottinger Simple Heraldry, Cheerfully Illustrated (1953), Simple Custom (1954), and Blood Royal (1956), but his interests also extended to Georgian and Byzantine noble genealogies. Lord of the Dance, A Moncreiffe Miscellany, edited by Hugh Montgomery-Massingberd encompassed his genealogical world-view.”

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