Gabelli Trust Appoints Pair Before Market Listing

The Scotman

25 January, 2015 | By Gareth Mackie

TWO grandees of Scotland’s investment sector have joined the board of a trust that is aiming to raise up to £250 million when it lists on the London market next month.

Charles Irby, a former chairman of Aberdeen Asset Management, is to serve as a director of the Gabelli Value Plus+ Trust, which will be pitching to Scottish investors this week ahead of its planned listing.

In addition, the trust has lined up former Ivory & Sime chair Alex Hammond-Chambers to sit on its management board.

He is also a director of Hampden & Co, the Edinburgh-based private bank that is preparing to open for business by the end of March.

The Gabelli trust is being launched by New York fund manager Gamco Investors and will be a closed-ended fund with a limited number of shares.

Gamco is seeking to raise between £100m and £250m for the new fund, which will be managed by Gabelli Funds and invest in US equities. The firm has pledged to invest 10 per cent of the total capital raised in the issue.

Portfolio manager Robert Leininger said: “Our goal is to enter the UK market with the ‘best of’ Gabelli with this first offering.

“Our focus on franchise businesses with predictable and repeat business models, defendable brands and market shares, orients us towards companies with pricing power.”

The trust will be chaired by Andrew Bell, the chief executive of the £1.6 billion Witan Investment Trust who is also chairman of the Association of Investment Companies.

Gamco, launched in 1976, manages about £31bn of assets and opened an office in London 15 years ago.