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About this investment trust

The Company aims to provide shareholders with long-term capital growth and an attractive total return by investing primarily in UK smaller companies and mid-capitalisation companies traded on the London Stock Exchange.

Capital at risk. The value of investments and the income from them can fall as well as rise and are not guaranteed. Investors may not get back the amount originally invested.

Why choose it?

The BlackRock Throgmorton Trust looks to back the UK’s strongest emerging companies. An unusual feature of the Trust is its ability to ‘short’ companies that we find unattractive, enabling us to profit if the share price falls. This gives the Trust’s manager the opportunity to back investment ideas with real conviction, within a strong risk framework.

Suited to…

Investors who want a dynamically managed portfolio of growing companies but are comfortable with a limited degree of ‘short’ exposure.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • An investment trust is a public limited company that aims to make money by investing in a range of companies carefully chosen by a professional fund manager: it lists on an exchange, has a board of directors and trades like a normal share. It is an easy and tax-efficient way of investing in a variety of different companies.

    Find out more here

  • You can buy shares in an investment trust via a stockbroker or an online platform during market hours.

    Find out more information here

  • Selling shares in an investment trust can be done during market hours through a stockbroker or online platform.

  • You can see the recent performance of the Trust here. To get an up to date valuation of your holding in the Trust, you will need to ask your stockbroker or online platform. 

  • The interim dividends are paid in August and final dividends are paid in April.

  • The Trust was incorporated in December 1957 and BlackRock took over management of the Trust on 1 July 2008.

  • The Board of Directors oversee the Trust, ensuring the portfolio managers are investing in line with its objectives. They are there to protect investors' interests, hold managers to account and report to shareholders on performance and progress.

    Find out more about our directors here

  • If you are not entirely satisfied with any aspect of the service you have received, we want to help. Details of our complaints handling process are available at www.blackrock.com/uk/individual/about-blackrock/contact-us.

    You can also write to the Investor Services Team, at our Registered Office, 12 Throgmorton Avenue, London, EC2N 2DL or e-mail them at cosec@blackrock.com.

  • Liquidity risk: The Trust’s investments may have low liquidity which often causes the value of these investments to be less predictable. In extreme cases, the Trust may not be able to realise the investment at the latest market price or at a price considered fair.

    Complex derivative strategies: Derivatives may be used substantially for complex investment strategies. These include the creation of short positions where the Investment Manager artificially sells an investment it does not physically own. Derivatives can also be used to generate exposure to investments greater than the net asset value of the fund / investment trust. Investment Managers refer to this practice as obtaining market leverage or gearing. As a result, a small positive or negative movement in stock markets will have a larger impact on the value of these derivatives than owning the physical investments. The use of derivatives in this manner may have the effect of increasing the overall risk profile of the trusts.

    Financial Markets, Counterparties and Service Providers: The insolvency of any institutions providing services such as safekeeping of assets or acting as counterparty to derivatives or other instruments, may expose the Trust to financial loss.

    Gearing risk: Investment strategies, such as borrowing, used by the Trust can result in even larger losses suffered when the value of the underlying investments fall.

  • Find out more about our fees and charges here.

  • The KID document provides important information about the Trust – including costs and charges, its investment objectives and risk ratings. You can view it by clicking this link here.

  • Please write to the Investor Services Team, at our Registered Office, 12 Throgmorton Avenue, London, EC2N 2DL or e-mail them at cosec@blackrock.com.

  • The AGM is held in March every year. All shareholders are welcome to attend.

  • Yes. Investment trusts can be held in an ISA wrapper, which is a tax-efficient wrapper in which you can buy, hold and sell investments. It is available to all UK resident taxpayers.

  • The interim results are announced in July, while the final results are announced in February.

  • The dividend yield will vary with market conditions and the Trust’s share price. The current net dividend yield can be found on our performance and holdings page here.

  • We have over 25 years’ experience in running investment trusts. Our managers can draw on unparalleled proprietary research capabilities across the globe when choosing where to invest your money. We have regular meetings with senior company management to delve into their strategy and prospects.

    Investment is not just about knowing where to invest, but also about knowing the pitfalls. With that in mind, we have sophisticated risk management teams that help our fund managers understand where they are taking risks and how to manage it. We are trusted by millions of people across the globe to manage their money effectively and responsibly.

    This material is not intended to be relied upon as a forecast, research or investment advice, and is not a recommendation, offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities or financial product or to adopt any investment strategy.

THRG - Money Observer   AJ Bell - 2021 - THRG    THRG - KEpler    investment-trusts/AJ Bell - 2021 - THRG

Money Observer Investment Trust Awards: As at 30 April 2020.
AJ Bell Award: As at 30 September 2020.
Kepler: As at 30 January 2021.
AJ Bell Online Personal Wealth Awards 2021: As at 8 March 2021.

What are the risks?

  • Capital at risk. The value of investments and the income from them can fall as well as rise and are not guaranteed. Investors may not get back the amount originally invested.
  • Net Asset Value (NAV) performance is not the same as share price performance, and shareholders may realise returns that are lower or higher than NAV performance.
  • The Trust’s investments may have low liquidity which often causes the value of these investments to be less predictable. In extreme cases, the Trust may not be able to realise the investment at the latest market price or at a price considered fair.
  • Investment strategies, such as borrowing, used by the Trust can result in even larger losses suffered when the value of the underlying investments fall.
  • The insolvency of any institutions providing services such as safekeeping of assets or acting as counterparty to derivatives or other instruments, may expose the Fund to financial loss.
  • Derivatives may be used substantially for complex investment strategies. These include the creation of short positions where the Investment Manager artificially sells an investment it does not physically own.
  • Derivatives can also be used to generate exposure to investments greater than the net asset value of the fund/investment trust. Investment Managers refer to this practice as obtaining market leverage or gearing. As a result, a small positive or negative movement in stockmarkets will have a larger impact on the value of these derivatives than owning the physical investments. The use of derivatives in this manner may have the effect of increasing the overall risk profile of the Funds.

Useful information

Fees & Charges

Annual Expenses as at Date: 30/11/2020

Ongoing Charge (including any Performance Fee): 1.60% as at 30/11/2020

Important Notice: Key Investor Document (KID) – Costs disclosures error
During the period 5th March 2021 – 5th July 2021 the KID contained incorrect costs data as set out in the Previously stated costs tables below. The figures that should have been published are set out in the Corrected costs tables.

Previously stated costs (as per KID published 5 March 2021, based on data as at December 2020):

Costs over time

If you cash in after 1 year If you cash in after 3 years If you cash in after 5 years
Total costs (GBP) 179 709 1,562
Impact on return (RIY) per year 1.79% 1.78% 1.78%

Composition of costs

Ongoing costs Portfolio transaction costs 1.13%
Ongoing costs Other ongoing costs 0.57%
Incidental costs Performance fees 0.00%

Corrected costs (based on data as at December 2020):

Costs over time

If you cash in after 1 year If you cash in after 3 years If you cash in after 5 years
Total costs (GBP) 270 1,078 2,395
Impact on return (RIY) per year 2.70% 2.69% 2.69%

Composition of costs

Ongoing costs Portfolio transaction costs 0.96%
Ongoing costs Other ongoing costs 0.70%
Incidental costs Performance fees 1.03%

An updated KID with cost data as at 31 March 2021 was published on 5th July 2021.

There has been no financial impact to the Company as a consequence of this error.

Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience that may have been caused as a result of this matter. You are not required to take any action as a result of this statement. If you have any queries regarding the above, please contact our Investor Services Team by email at uk.investor@blackrock.com. Alternatively, please feel free to contact us by telephone on 0800 44 55 22, quoting the relevant account number where applicable. Our lines are open from 8.30am to 6.00pm, Monday to Friday. For your protection, telephone calls may be recorded.

Management Fee Summary: Management fee of 0.35% of the gross assets value of the Company’s long only portfolio plus the gross economic exposure of the total long and short portfolio. The fee structure includes a performance fee of 15% of the NAV (total return) outperformance against the Numis Smaller Companies plus AIM (excluding Investment Companies) Index, measured over a two year rolling basis and applied on average gross assets over two years. A cap on total management fees of 1.25% of average gross assets over a two year period will also apply. As the performance fee model operates on a rolling two year period, there is an annual cap of circa 0.9% on average gross assets over two years. On first day of the financial year outperformance from the previous financial year can be carried forward and accrued in the daily NAV released to the London Stock Exchange on that day. The maximum annual accrual under these circumstances is circa 0.9% of average gross assets.

  • ISIN: GB0008910555

    Sedol: 0891055

    Bloomberg: THRG.LN

    Reuters: THRG.L

    LSE code: THRG

  • Name of Company: BlackRock Fund Managers Limited

    Telephone: 020 7743 3000

    Email: cosec@blackrock.com

    Website: www.blackrock.com/uk

    Correspondence Address: Investment Trusts

    BlackRock Investment Management (UK) Limited

    12 Throgmorton Avenue

    London

    EC2N 2DL

    Name of Registrar: Computershare PLC

    Registered Office: 12 Throgmorton Avenue

    London

    EC2N 2DL

    Registrar Telephone: +44 (0)370 707 4016

    Place of Registration: England

    Registered Number: 594634

  • Year End: 30 November

    Results Announced: July (interim), February (final)

    AGM: March

    Dividends Paid: August (interim), April (final)

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Fund manager commentary

31 May 2021

Please note that the commentary below includes historic information in respect of the performance of portfolio investments, index performance data and the Company’s NAV and share performance.

The figures shown relate to past performance. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of current or future results.

The Company returned 1.0%1 in May, marginally trailing its benchmark, the Numis Smaller Companies +AIM ex Investment Trusts, which returned 1.2%1. Performance during the month was driven by the long book, while the short book was flat.

There remains an ongoing debate about ‘value vs growth’ and while April favoured growth, May reversed some of this trend. As mentioned in the past, and perhaps surprisingly, we really do not see the ‘value vs growth’ discussion as a critical issue in investment returns. But rather we see the high level of ongoing industrial change as creating many more opportunities for alpha, and far more important in delivering good returns to our investors. It is, however, true that May favoured value over growth, and that statement would also be true on average for the past 7 months since November 2020 when a vaccine was first announced. It’s worth highlighting however, that despite this backdrop, the Company has delivered a positive result in the first half of our financial year, returning 31.0%1 and outperforming the benchmark by +3.3%1. This, we believe is very creditable and an indicator of just how much opportunity we are seeing even in an environment that is deemed unfavourable for differentiated growth companies. We remain very positive on the investments we have made and expect great things over the coming periods as they deliver on their promise. We also believe ongoing industry pressures and business model frailties will be exposed for the struggling companies in our short book as normality returns.

To that end we have experienced another month with strong updates from our long positions where the share prices of some have appreciated materially, whilst other shares without updates have drifted. This effect actually gives us some confidence. We are seeing shares drift only to report strong earnings, which focuses attention on improved profits, and the shares rise. We see the drifting as the transitory phase and the value demonstrated by the results as the real alpha gained over time. The recovery trade continued during May, but in the most recent days we have seen some of the beneficiaries fall on weak updates and equity raising as the COVID-19 crisis lingers and ongoing industry challenges persist. On that basis there may be emerging signs of the end to the recovery trade, but as mentioned above this is not actually key to our investment theses or the returns that can be delivered by the portfolio.

The largest contributor was Gamma Communications, where the shares rose to new highs on the back of another upgrade to forecasts accompanying their strong trading update. At its core this reflects the strength of demand and operating momentum in the business as customers upgrade their corporate communications and embrace the cloud. Shares in Games Workshop rose after the company forecast that profits for the year ending May 2021 would be at least £150m, representing almost a 70% increase compared to the previous year. Auction Technology Group, a market leader in digital auction marketplaces, delivered very strong results in May and has now doubled since we purchased at IPO (Initial Public Offering) earlier this year.

The largest detractor during the month was speciality pharmaceuticals business, Ergomed, which gave back some of last month’s gains following its announced expansion into Japan. Our holding in Electrocomponents delivered strong results in the period but fell back in absence of a material upgrade. The company is growing organic revenues at double digits as they win market share and we think its growth has the potential to accelerate further as they solidify their market position through M&A (Mergers & Acquisitions). Chegg, one of our US positions, reported a strong update in our opinion but fell back after some great share price performance in the last year. Of course, in our mind, the company is so much more than a “Covid trade”, having delivered growth that has exceeded analyst forecasts for several years pre-dating the pandemic given the strength of its offering and the huge changes happening in the education market. Chegg clearly saw an acceleration during the pandemic, but we believe it has the potential for many more years of growth when COVID-19 is firmly in the rear view mirror.

Overall, we see May as period of consolidation after a very strong April and another stepping stone. The bigger picture is unchanged as is our optimism and conviction. The reporting season continues to validate our long book holdings which gives confidence that they are doing the right things and over time we expect higher revenues, profits and share prices. Whilst we’ve outlined three key contributors, there are many other shares that we could discuss that have driven performance this month on the back of positive updates such as 4Imprint, or Impax Asset Management. Our outlook for 2021 remains very positive and we expect to see continued rapid industry change that will deliver huge opportunities in emerging companies. We are therefore making sure we work hard to capture new opportunities and to monetise our existing ideas. We continue to operate a net position of around 120%, which is the highest that it has been under my management, reflecting the vast opportunity we see for differentiated growth companies. We thank shareholders for their ongoing support.

Source: Unless otherwise stated all data is sourced from BlackRock as at 31 May 2021. 
Source: 1Datastream as at 31 May 2021

Any opinions or forecasts represent an assessment of the market environment at a specific time and are not intended to be a forecast of future events or a guarantee of future results. This information should not be relied upon by the reader as research, investment advice or a recommendation.

Risk: Reference to the names of each company mentioned in this communication is merely for explaining the investment strategy, and should not be construed as investment advice or investment recommendation of those companies.

 

Portfolio manager biography

Daniel Whitestone, Director, is Head of the Emerging Companies team, within the Fundamental Equity Division of BlackRock's Active Equity business. He is the lead Portfolio Manager for BlackRock Throgmorton Trust plc, BlackRock UK Emerging Companies Hedge Fund and BlackRock UK Emerging Companies Absolute Return Fund.

Dan's service with the firm dates back to 2013. Prior to joining BlackRock, Dan worked for UBS, where he was the head of the UK small and mid-cap sales desk and ranked the number one salesperson in the Extel Small/Mid-Cap sales ratings in 2011 and 2012. Prior to working at UBS, Dan joined Noble and Co in 2006 as a UK small and mid-cap salesman. He began his career at Accenture, in 2003 as a strategy consultant.

Dan earned a BA Hons degree in Combined Studies from the University of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne.

Portfolio Manager
Dan Whitestone
Dan Whitestone

Board of directors

All the Directors are non-executive, independent of the Investment Manager and members of the Audit Committee, Management Engagement Committee and the Nomination Committee.

Christopher Samuel (Chairman) was appointed to the Board in June 2016. He was Chief Executive of Ignis Asset Management from 2009 until its sale to Standard Life Investments in 2014. He was previously Chief Operating Officer at Gartmore and Hill Samuel Asset Management and was a partner at Cambridge Place Investment Management. He is a Non-Executive Director of the Alliance Trust plc, UIL Limited, its subsidiary UIL Finance Limited, and Sarasin & Partners LLP. He is also Non-Executive Chairman of JP Morgan Japanese Investment Trust plc and Quilter Financial Planning. He graduated from Oxford with an MA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics. He qualified as a Chartered Accountant with KPMG.

Angela Lane was appointed to the Board in June 2020. She had previously spent 18 years working in private equity at 3i, becoming a partner in 3i's Growth Capital business managing the UK portfolio. Since 2007, Angela has held several non-executive and advisory roles for small and medium capitalised companies across a range of industries including business services, healthcare, travel, media, consumer goods and infrastructure. She is currently a Non-Executive Director of Pacific Horizon Investment Trust plc and Dunedin Enterprise Investment Trust plc, where she is also Chairman of the audit committee.

Loudon Greenlees was appointed to the Board in March 2014. He was previously Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer of Thames River Capital from 1999 until 2007 and then Commercial Director until May 2013, prior to this he had been Group Finance Director and Chief Operating Officer of Rothschild Asset Management and Group Finance Director of Baring Asset Management. He qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1974.

Louise Nash was a UK Small and Mid-Cap Fund Manager, firstly at Cazenove Capital and latterly at M&G Investments which she left in 2015. She now works for family wine business Höpler. She also acts as a consultant to JLC Investor Relations. Louise holds an MA in German and Politics from the University of Edinburgh and the IMRO Investment Management Certificate.

Nigel Burton was appointed to the Board in December 2020. He has spent over 14 years as an investment banker at leading City institutions including UBS Warburg and Deutsche Bank, including as the Managing Director responsible for the energy and utilities industries. Nigel has also spent 15 years as Chief Financial Officer or Chief Executive Officer of a number of private and public companies. He is currently a Non-Executive Director of AIM listed companies DeepVerge plc, Microsaic Systems plc, eEnergy Group plc and Location Sciences Group plc. He was formerly a Non-Executive Director of Digitalbox plc, Corcel plc, Modern Water plc, Alexander Mining plc, Mobile Streams plc and Chairman of Remote Monitored Systems plc.

Merryn Somerset Webb was appointed to the Board in March 2021. She has significant experience of financial matters through her role as Editor-in-Chief of MoneyWeek, the UK personal finance magazine and writes extensively on this subject across radio and television. She brings valuable investment trust specific experience and is currently a Non-Executive Director of Murray Income Investment Trust plc, Baillie Gifford Shin Nippon Public Limited Company and Netwealth Investments Limited.

Our approach to ESG

The Board recognises that Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues can present both opportunities and risks to long term investment performance. An assessment of these issues forms an important part of the decision making process of the Company’s Manager, BlackRock, which determines whether the Company will invest in, or divest of, the securities of a company. These considerations also guide the Manager in its reviews of portfolio companies and its assessment of the issues on which to engage with investee companies, how this is best done and whether or not to support proposals put to shareholders.

BlackRock therefore incorporates material ESG information and consideration of sustainability risks into investment decisions in order to seek to enhance risk-adjusted returns. ESG insights and data, including sustainability risks, are considered as part of the investment process, including company research and portfolio construction. These ESG insights are not the sole consideration when making investment decisions; ESG integration does not change the Company’s investment objective and the extent to which ESG insights are considered during investment decision making will also be determined by other factors including, for example, the portfolio company’s sector and operations.

The Board receives periodic updates from the Manager in respect of the Manager's stewardship activities. Details of how the Manager voted on proposals put by portfolio companies to shareholders can be found in the latest Annual Report at the link provided.

 

 

Investment strategies targeting growth and income
Investment strategies targeting growth and income
Over 28 years of proven experience running investment trusts (Dec 2020)
Over 28 years of proven experience running investment trusts (Dec 2020)
Unparalleled research capabilities
Unparalleled research capabilities and experienced stock pickers
Contact
To get in touch contact us on:
Telephone: 020 7743 3000
Email: cosec@blackrock.com