LONDON (Alliance News) – Henderson Alternative Strategies Trust PLC on Monday said “adverse” events and market movements have “conspired to continue to frustrate” the expectations of the trust and its investors.

The trust, which invests in hedge funds and private equity with the aim of besting the FTSE World Total Return Index, said the benefits of changing its investment manager two years ago and restructuring its portfolio in a way that cut exposure to emerging markets and commodities only came through in the second half of its last financial year.

The trust is managed by Ian Barrass and James de Bunsen of Henderson Global Investors. Their top three investments, excluding contracts for difference, were named as BlackRock European Hedge Fund Ltd, Polar Capital Global Financials Trust PLC, and Eurovestech PLC.

“This second half performance has at least demonstrated that our underlying investment portfolio has less volatility than developed markets,” Chairman Richard Gubbins said. The trust delivered a net asset value total return of negative 5.0% in the year ended September 30, versus the 0.8% increase in the benchmark, although it outperformed by 6.1% in the second half.

“The company has a clear and differentiated investment strategy and in the past year has increased exposure to developed equity markets whilst emerging markets offered unsatisfactory returns. However, we will continue to explore ways whereby we can increase significantly our chances of exceeding our global market benchmark in the future and to expose shareholders to the long-term benefits of investments in alternative and specialist areas such as specialist credit, hedge funds and private equity,” Gubbins said.

The trust will remain committed on generating long-term returns superior to the FTSE World Total Return Index, the chairman added.

Shares in the trust were down 0.3% at 219.38 pence on Monday afternoon.

By Samuel Agini; samagini@alliancenews.com; @samuelagini

Copyright 2015 Alliance News Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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