Troy is a longstanding and successful boutique that has built its brand on an investment philosophy of capital preservation and compounding returns over the long term. When he launched this fund in 2016, manager Hugo Ure brought this philosophy to the ethical arena, and to date has delivered attractive returns to investors. Though the fund’s history is limited, it has a high degree of commonality with the Trojan Income fund co-managed by Ure. Trojan Income has historically provided a defensive performance profile along with highly attractive capital growth. The Ethical Income fund's focus on income and quality/larger companies differentiates it from a number of peers in the space, which are more multi-cap and growth focused.
As with all Troy funds this has a focus on capital preservation and consequently may hold up to 20% cash depending on the overall level of equity valuations. The remainder of the portfolio is constructed on a primarily bottom-up basis, with EIRIS, a provider of environmental, social and governance data, providing a negative screen for the ethical restrictions.
Ure favours quality companies with high returns on invested capital sustained by durable competitive advantages - special assets (brands, relationships, networks, intellectual property) that protect them from competitors. He also looks for sound balance sheets so that management can allocate capital flexibly; and management that acts in the best interests of shareholders. He buys these companies when their shares are quoted at a price that underestimates future cash flows.
The investment process draws the fund towards certain sectors, particularly consumer goods, healthcare and business software. More cyclical, capital intensive sectors are avoided – the fund seldom invests in miners, aerospace or housebuilders. Troy’s investment universe consists of around 200 companies, of which 100 are in the UK and the remainder in the US and Europe. Of these Ure picks 35-50 for the fund. Stock turnover is low.