A Value View

A Value View is a series of topical podcasts from The Merchants Trust, ​focusing on developments affecting the UK market environment and how the trust navigates them. So what does this mean for investors? – join portfolio manager Simon Gergel as he offers his thoughts.

Supply issues have been in the spotlight of late. Where companies had got used to ‘just-in-time’ supply chains, they have now seen just how easily these can be disrupted. Whilst such factors mean we’re not out of the woods yet in terms of economic recovery, and wary of inflationary pressures building up, Simon Gergel describes how he’s trying to look past the short-term noise.


Five years have passed since the Brexit referendum and many different factors have made that a particularly extraordinary and challenging period for the UK market. However, the trick has been to look through the various market uncertainties and using that lens, many mispriced opportunities have presented themselves. Right now, the UK market still looks cheap relative to other markets, and the interest of overseas investors, private equity and corporate buyers has most definitely been piqued.


The latest reporting season has highlighted the difference between resilient businesses and those hit very hard by the effects of the pandemic. Returning dividends across many sectors are an encouraging sign for income seekers and the vaccine rollout is giving hope that recovery is looming, though the lessons of the recent past should prompt caution. Finally, key themes driving the portfolio come under the microscope.


In this Episode, Simon Gergel discusses the potential for a renewed focus on individual companies and their prospects in 2021. While bigger picture themes such as Brexit, the US election and the impacts of the pandemic dominated markets last year, the associated uncertainties are starting to fall away.


In this Episode, Simon Gergel takes a closer look at how businesses are emerging from the constraints of lockdown and what the trend for dividends from UK equity markets might be. Finally, Brexit trade negotiations are once again a talking point.


In this episode, Simon Gergel takes a closer look at the situation for income from UK equity markets. What factors should investors consider to differentiate businesses that are suffering a short term shock from those that may be impacted by longer-term changes in behavior?


Simon Gergel looks at how markets are reacting to the coronavirus and describes how he and his team are dealing with the fallout in terms of the investment portfolio. Simon also looks at the outlook for income from dividends, a cornerstone of the Merchants Trust’s strategy.


Simon Gergel reviews 2019 – a momentous year in terms of global market volatility and the polarisation of the UK market as investors heavily favoured higher-quality growth stocks. 2020 is starting out with more political certainty in the UK. This should give a more ‘normal’ feel to investing where what’s happening at companies is more important than market reactions to political uncertainty.


As we approach the final quarter of 2019, Simon Gergel reflects on what has been a fascinating year so far, with politics driving market volatility globally and the UK market becoming increasingly polarised. He talks about finding opportunities from this situation, with the market behaving irrationally towards some solid businesses.


In his latest podcast, Simon Gergel, Portfolio Manager of The Merchants Trust, discusses what it means to be a value investor and how the team implements this across the Merchants portfolio of high yielding shares. Simon also considers the opportunities for value investing in today’s markets as well as other aspects of the team’s investment process, including analysis of cash flow, structural advantages and valuation.


Simon reflects on how it all began in 1889, the Trust’s aims to provide an investment solution for individual investors then and now and how the Merchants of yesterday differs to the vehicle it is today. The Trust has lived through many major political and economic events over its lifetime and Simon looks back at this remarkable history and how this has shaped the Trust, which has diversified and adapted over time. Simon has been at the helm of Merchants for 13 years – a tenth of the Trust’s life – and talks about his own experiences as manager, particularly the importance of steady nerves and a focus on long-term fundamentals when managing Merchants through the financial crisis of 2008-9.


Not only are we at the start of a new year but also a landmark anniversary year for Merchants. Established in 1889, the Trust celebrates its 130th birthday this year. The fact that the Trust has successfully navigated a variety of market conditions throughout its history can help put today’s political challenges and market volatility into context, as Simon remarks. Listen in as he also discusses his medium-term outlook for UK equities, as well as sharing his confidence that stocks with good dividend yield will always find favour with investors over time. With the backdrop of Brexit dampening enthusiasm, Simon explains his ongoing aim of diversifying the Merchants portfolio by constructing an attractive portfolio of individual businesses across a range of sectors.


In his latest podcast, Simon looks at recent developments affecting The Merchants Trust portfolio and the broader UK stock market. Listen in as Simon emphasises that market volatility, as witnessed in October, can give rise to the opportunity. He notes that any divergence in the share prices of different sectors and even different companies could enable investors to take advantage of potentially compelling valuations.


In his latest broadcast, Simon takes a look back at the first half of the year, a fascinating period that’s been characterised by global political challenges. Simon also considers market prospects for the rest of 2018 and the factors that may have an impact.


In the latest podcast, Simon is joined by Mary Ann Sieghart, one of Merchants’ Non-executive Directors, who joined the board in November 2014. Together, Mary Ann and Simon explore the importance of transparency in communication.


In this latest interview, Simon throws light on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues and what it all means for investors. He explains why sustainability and the ethical impact of investing rank high amongst the broad range of criteria that investors and fund managers consider these days.


In this episode, we ask: are London listed equities as UK focused as we think? Why should investors choose the UK? Where are we with interest rates in the UK? And if a rate rise goes ahead how it would affect the outlook of the UK?


Welcome to “A Value View”, the first in an exciting series of topical podcasts from The Merchants Trust. Each month Simon Gergel, fund manager of The Merchants Trust, will offer his thoughts on developments affecting the UK market, and what they mean for investors.


© Allianz Global Investors GmbH 2021, Registered Office: Frankfurt am Main, Register: HRB 9340, Local court: Frankfurt am Main. All Rights Reserved. The Merchants Trust PLC is incorporated in England and Wales. (Company registration no. 28276). Registered Office: 199 Bishopsgate, London, EC2M 3TY. The Company is a member of the Association of Investment Companies - Category: UK Equity Income.