Ben tells us about his twin passions of fund management and photography and how he goes about managing Henderson International Income Trust.
Approved by Janus Henderson Investors.
We launched Henderson International Income Trust in 2011. I remember it well because I just had my first child then, so I've got two now and it very much feels like one of my children. And it was launched really because we saw that there was a gap in the market in terms of UK investors weren't being served very well for international income.
I've always been interested in photography as a hobby. I haven't done very much for the last few years, combination of work and young family, and I'm starting to rediscover it again and get into it. I've always thought I'd say it's quite analytical, but it's also quite creative. So it's quite nice to come back to something that I used to do and try and get better at it again.
I really didn't know fund management existed when I was growing up. I was the son of two teachers and I grew up for a large part of my life in the north of Scotland. But I really liked economics. And so I studied that at university and I joined PriceWaterhouseCoopers. And after doing that for a few years, I realised I wanted to get more involved in investing and joined Janus Henderson or Henderson, as it was then in 2004, and joined the Value and Income Team.
And I just really enjoyed that kind of interplay between investing and the environment that you invest in and the economic side. I like learning new things, and I like that feeling of progression in life. And I really enjoy fund management because it has a lot of that. It's always different. The market is different every year, every week sometimes. And so that's a big part of interest for me.
I'm not really interested in in owning a lot of things, but I love that kind of a sense of change over time. The trust is suited to people who are looking for equity income and who are looking to diversify their holdings. So perhaps they have quite a lot of UK investments already. And Henderson International Income Trust offers exposure to overseas countries maybe growing at different rates at different times, and different sectors.
The most interesting thing about running trusts is that you have annual general meetings where investors in the trusts come and get a chance to meet the management and the board of directors. And that's where you get to really kind of see what the trusts have provided to those people, some of them being invested for 20 or 30 years in some cases. It's really interesting to see how interested they are in it. And to get that link between you as a fund manager and the end goal.
We launched the trust just over £40 million and we've grown at £300 million. So I definitely feel that the concept has been proven. And the next part really is to prove that it's a trust that you can invest in, you can leave for 10 to 15 years, you can come back and the market will have gone up and down in that time but we've continued to find good investments. I think that's the key thing that the equity income can achieve for people.
My vision of the trust is to help people achieve their financial goals. I'm not a teacher or a doctor or anything, I can't help people directly that way. But certainly, you know, I and the team can help achieve financial goals for people. Maybe it's helping to pay for retirement. Maybe it's funding children through university at some point. And there for me, success will look like this trust, having grown in capital and income over the next 15 to 20 years. And if I'm still running it, then I'll be very happy with that.