5 Minutes With: Troy's Charlotte Yonge

This week Charlotte Yonge, manager of the new Troy Trojan Ethical Fund, talks gender diversity and the boom of digital payments

Annalisa Esposito 13 September, 2019 | 9:34AM
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 charlotte yonge

Charlotte Yonge, 31, has run the Troy Trojan Ethical fund since its launch in March this year, having worked at the firm since 2013. The multi-asset fund invests across cash, equity and bonds but avoids any investments related to tobacco, arms and gambling among other exclusions. Top holdings include soft drink manufacturer Coca Cola, US and UK government bonds and a gold ETF.

What does the fund do?

It aims to preserve investors’ money as well as growing it. It was set up in response to as strong demand from investors who want exposure to steady returns and ethical restrictions.

What stock are you currently excited about in the portfolio?

The payment network is very exciting and we currently hold Visa and American Express - they are the gate keepers of digital payments. There is a big shift away from cash towards digital payments, which means these companies can produce double digit revenue growth. 

What is your best investment ever?

Microsoft. We bought it in 2010 and since then it successfully transformed its business model from licence to subscription-based. It benefits from the trend towards companies using the cloud to store their work.

And your worst?

Just under two years ago, Henkel, a German family-owned chemical business. Unfortunately, the consumer side of the business was run too hard and margins were too high to generate a reasonable level of sales. We sold at a small loss, and after that the company had two profit warnings.

What’s the stock you didn’t buy that you wish you had?

Estee Lauder, a fantastic company with a strong portfolio brand that includes names such as Clinique and Mac. It has grown at a tremendous rate of more than 20% for some time and is well-placed to capitalise from the beauty product sector in Asia. I would be very open to buying it in the future if the share price gets less expensive.

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned?

To listen to a variety of different opinions, not only the loudest voice in the room.

What do you do in your spare time?

I co-founded a charity called Gain (Girls Are Investors), which tackles issues of gender diversity in asset management. This week we are launching the website and the idea is to provide a platform for sixth form women to inform them and inspire them about this fantastic career.

If I wasn’t a fund manager…

When I was younger, I was very into politics and wanted to become the next prime minister. At that point I didn’t know very much about fund management and I definitely didn’t know about Brexit! I would have changed my ambition with these two pieces of information.

What’s the best thing about this industry?

There is never ever a dull moment and you are kept humble by market events – factors keep changing, but then it’s up to you to embrace new industries, shaping companies and the investment world as a whole.

And what’s the worst?

The diversity issue, where we are quite far behind. We are starting to see a change in attitudes, but it’s going to take a lot of work to get where we want to be. 

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Annalisa Esposito  is a data journalist for Morningstar.co.uk

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