5 Top Rated Europe Investment Trusts

With European economic recovery lifting stock markets higher, we look at the closed-ended funds that gain the analysts' seal of approval

Emma Wall 30 October, 2013 | 3:47PM
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1. Jupiter European Opportunities (JEO)

Rated Gold

We think Jupiter European Opportunities is a compelling choice for European equities, says Morningstar analyst Jackie Beard. 

Since the fund’s launch in 2000, it has returned more than 13% annualized (to 31 Aug), nearly 9 percentage points more than its average Morningstar Europe Flex-Cap Equity category peer. Not only that, the manager has achieved consistent outperformance in every year bar one, and that one was 2008 when gearing exacerbated the market falls.

2. Henderson EuroTrust (HNE)

Rated Silver

Henderson Euro Trust is a solid choice for investors wanting European equity exposure that excludes the UK, says Morningstar analyst Szymon Idzikowski.

For one, it’s got consistency of management that’s rare to see. Tim Stevenson has been in charge since the fund launched back in 1992. His work at Henderson dates back even further to 1986 and he has been involved with European equities since that time. We highly value the manager’s long experience in the industry and deep knowledge of the sector, which has led to the successful implementation of his investment process over a long time frame.

3. BlackRock Greater Europe (BRGE)

Rated Silver

We think the manager pairing at BlackRock Greater Europe is a key reason for its appeal, says Beard.

Sam Vecht has managed the Emerging European part of the portfolio since the fund’s launch in 2004, and we like the fact that his tenure brings consistency to this fund. He joined Merrill Lynch (now BlackRock) in 2000 and has spent the past 12 years on the Emerging Markets team, specialising in Emerging Europe. He has led the latter team since April 2009. Shortly after that appointment was made, two senior colleagues on the EM team left the firm. Since then, it has stabilised and, while it’s not as experienced a team overall as others we’ve seen, we think it’s a group that works very well together and plays to its strengths.

Vincent Devlin, who is responsible for the bigger European part of the fund, joined the firm in 2008 alongside his former SWIP colleagues including team head Nigel Bolton. Devlin brings a wealth of experience in Continental European equities and has continued to deliver since joining BlackRock. We think the two have established a strong work dynamic and this is borne out in the fund’s performance.

4. Fidelity European Values (FEV)

Rated Bronze

Our conviction in Fidelity European Values is intact, says Idzikowski.

Part of this confidence stems from manager Sam Morse and Fidelity’s sizable pan-European research team. Morse joined Fidelity in 1990 as an analyst covering pan-European retail stocks. He started running money in 1994. Much of his career has been spent at the firm—although he had a seven-year stint at M&G from 1997 to 2004. This means he has a strong working relationship with the pan-European research team and they are a key factor in his process.

5. Henderson European Focus (HEFT)

Rated Bronze

We think John Bennett has settled in well at the helm of Henderson European Focus, says Idzikowski.

Bennett was appointed here at the start of 2011, following the departure of the previous fund manager Roger Guy. Although his tenure is short, he’s no stranger to European equities. Indeed, he brings over two decades of experience and has witnessed an array of favourable and unfavourable market conditions.

The information contained within is for educational and informational purposes ONLY. It is not intended nor should it be considered an invitation or inducement to buy or sell a security or securities noted within nor should it be viewed as a communication intended to persuade or incite you to buy or sell security or securities noted within. Any commentary provided is the opinion of the author and should not be considered a personalised recommendation. The information contained within should not be a person's sole basis for making an investment decision. Please contact your financial professional before making an investment decision.

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Securities Mentioned in Article

Security NamePriceChange (%)Morningstar
BlackRock Greater Europe Ord624.00 GBX0.81Rating
European Opportunities Trust883.00 GBX0.68Rating
Fidelity European Trust Ord395.50 GBX0.89Rating
Henderson European Focus Trust Ord187.25 GBX0.13Rating
Henderson EuroTrust Ord158.00 GBX0.32Rating

About Author

Emma Wall  is former Senior International Editor for Morningstar

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