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Public Companies

We believe you build wealth by owning companies, not trading them on the stock market.

Focused on ‘co-owning’ companies that are built on solid foundations and generate cash, we target businesses that we understand and that can deliver good returns on capital. We tend to find these companies within technology, healthcare and life sciences equipment and services, industrials and consumer goods.

In our search for underlying predictability and pricing power, we look for factors such as a strong brand, scalability, repeat business and a strong market position.

The strategy has two key objectives, firstly to provide exposure to individually excellent companies for a long period of time to gain long-term economic benefit. Secondly, to hold these in a combination that creates a relatively resilient equity portfolio.

The Public Companies strategy is split into two portfolios: Capital and Income.

The portfolios contain significant holdings in well managed companies, held for the long term. These investments typically offer substance, brand, intellectual property and strong market position.

Ben Archer and Alan Murran are Co-Heads of the pool with Ben having responsibility for the Income portfolio and Alan having responsibility for the Capital portfolio.

“The Public Companies portfolio is a risk managed, concentrated collection of high quality companies which we can hold for long periods of time. We always invest with a margin of safety, using general stock market volatility for entry points and to make sure we are being careful with our shareholders’ money.”

Mat Masters

CEO

Meet the Public Companies team
Combined portfolio performance data

Over 1 Yr

Over 3 Yrs

Over 5 Yrs

Annualised Return

12.0%

8.6%

10.7%

as at 31 March 2024

Capital Portfolio

The Capital portfolio comprises investments in well-managed, publicly quoted companies, held for the long term. We select mature, enduring businesses that have a significant presence in their market – and where assets consistently produce strong returns on capital, enabling reinvestment and growth. Our objective is to deliver a 10% annual return, with no income constraint.
Performance Data

Over 1 Yr

Over 3 Yrs

Over 5 Yrs

Annualised Return

14.0%

9.7%

12.7%

as at 31 March 2024
Significant Pool Investments

Name

Value (£m)

84.3

83.5

57.7

37.5

Other investments

192.0

Total

698.2

as at 31 March 2024

Geographic distribution

73%
North America
21%
UK
4%
Europe
2%
Asia

Sector distribution

31%
Information technology
19%
Industrials
17%
Materials
11%
Healthcare
8%
Consumer staples
7%
Financials
5%
Communication services
2%
Consumer discretionary
as at 31 March 2024

Income Portfolio

The Income portfolio is constructed using similar quality criteria as the Capital portfolio: we invest selectively in mature, long-term businesses with resilient business models and the capacity and management culture to pay sustainable dividends. Our objective is to deliver a 7% annual return, with an initial yield of 3.5% based on the cost of investment. However, once invested we will not sell down positions simply based on dividend yield, as this will fall as a result of share price growth. Our underlying strategic aim is to invest in good quality companies whose progress over time will grow the absolute amount of dividend ahead of inflation.
Performance Data

Over 1 Yr

Over 3 Yrs

Over 5 Yrs

Annualised Return

6.8%

5.8%

6.0%

as at 31 March 2024
Significant Pool Investments

Name

Value (£m)

Yield %*

19.5

2.4

19.3

5.7

19.2

5.3

18

3.4

SGS

16.8

2.4

16.5

3.5

16.1

2.3

15.6

4.9

14.9

5.8

14.6

5.5

Other investments

63.6

4.1

Total

251.6

4.9

as at 31 March 2024 *LTM yield on invested cost

Geographic distribution

60%
UK
33%
North America
7%
Europe

Sector distribution

30%
Consumer staples
27%
Industrials
16%
Utilities
11%
Real estate
7%
Information technology
5%
Materials
4%
Financials
as at 31 March 2024

Our geographical analysis reflects listing location.