Principles & Philosophy
The price of our funds fluctuates from one year to the next, but the process and the principles, which inform the management of the funds, do not change. Whilst our two funds do have different objectives they share a common approach and we believe our process works whether we are trying to deliver income or long-term capital growth.
Whether investing in equities, funds or investment trusts, we invest primarily in people. We don’t know what the future has in store, but we believe that we are best equipped to cope with it if we place our shareholders’ money in the hands of experienced people with expertise in their sectors, who we believe care deeply about the institutions they manage, and who are able to explain their plans to us in a clear and credible way.
We run our funds with a value bias, where we aim to invest at times when prices are significantly below our estimate of fair values, and, even though, our respect for the managers of our holdings doesn’t change, we will sell once the valuations rise to levels above their fair value. There will also be times where we access these holdings at fair value or slightly above, if we feel there is a strong reason to hold an asset class or we want exposure to a geographical, sector or a theme where we see potential growth.
We believe we can serve our shareholders best by adopting the widest possible investment remit, so that when certain asset classes become dangerously expensive, we have the best chance of finding value in others. This is why our funds are fully flexible, global funds.
We get to know our managers well, developing supportive, long-term working relationships. It is important for us to invest with managers we trust. We take our fiduciary role very seriously and spend a considerable amount of time assessing managers’ ability to grow our clients’ capital carefully for the long term.
Whilst bottom-up manager and stock selection are the key elements in the investment process, we also spend time reviewing key global economic and market data to help frame current investment conditions. In addition, we receive third party economics and strategy research as well as benefit from discussions with our invested fund and company management teams.
We believe that asset allocation is critical to superior long-term performance and that the interplay between macro and micro drivers is too often ignored by market participants, thus creating opportunities. Similarly, far from dismissing market dynamics and technical factors, we watch price action and flows carefully as they create attractive entry/exits points and help complete our view of the world.
To read more, please read the Investment Process.
Responsible Investment Policy
Wise Funds takes a long-term approach in respect of the investments that we manage. We seek to build long-term relationships with both the management teams and investment managers of the companies and funds in which we invest. We believe a responsible approach to investing, one that includes a consideration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors alongside financial factors, is important for the delivery of sustainable returns for our investors. Considered analysis of ESG factors not only opens up potential investment opportunities but also highlights potential risks, both of which should lead to better investment outcomes. We actively discuss these factors with our investment managers and expect them to do the same with their underlying holdings. We invest in equities, bonds, private equity, property, infrastructure and commodities. This policy is applied to both funds across all asset classes we invest in whether held directly or indirectly via third party funds.
Whilst we invest into funds for whom improving corporate governance forms part of their investment strategy or which invest into sectors that create a positive societal or economic impact, our funds themselves do not explicitly adopt non-financial considerations, such as an ethical policy or specific exclusions. We read research, annual reports, hold meetings with executive management teams, board members and fund managers and believe this gives us a rounded view of the particular ESG issues facing direct or underlying holdings across a variety of different sectors. We believe this approach is appropriate and proportionate to the investment objectives of our funds. We favour the investment trust structure for our fund holdings where we believe there is strong corporate governance oversight provided by an independent board and permanent capital is well aligned with a longer-term investment approach, particularly for illiquid asset classes. Discussions around ESG are directed by the portfolio managers themselves so form a core part of the investment process.
In addition to this ongoing engagement, we take an active approach to voting. Our Policy is twofold – we always vote on resolutions, and as a default, we always vote with the management. This is because we would not invest in a company or fund which we did not believe to be well-managed, and therefore we are naturally supportive of what management is trying to achieve. However, we monitor all the issues on which we are invited to vote and will vote against a motion on the rare occasions where we feel a proposal is not in the company’s, and by extension our shareholders’ best interests. In these situations we will escalate our engagement and seek to meet with the Chairman or with other shareholders. We publish our voting summary on our website on a quarterly basis.
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