Income and growth investing with Laura Foll of Janus Henderson

Published on 6 May 2022

In this interview, Vantage meets Laura Foll, a portfolio manager at Janus Henderson who co-manages both growth (Henderson Opportunities Trust) and income funds (Lowland Investment Company, Law Debenture Corporation and the UK Equity Income & Growth Fund). Our initial motive for interviewing Laura was to get a view on the growth versus value debate, but what really stands out is a fund manager who is open and honest about our fallibility, and operating in a world where we can’t predict outcomes. On value versus growth, Laura finds the distinction unhelpful and when we look at the mindset of picking stocks for both the growth and income funds, co-manager James Henderson and Laura look for companies that are market leaders in their space. They might be global brands such as Microsoft (MSFT.OQ), but this description also includes leaders in niches such as Halfords (HFD.L) and Redde-Northgate (REDD.L). The strong market positions provide the growth the team are looking for, regardless of the type of fund they are selecting stocks from. The nuance comes in the expected growth, with some of the younger companies in the growth fund, such as Oxford Nanopore (ONT.L) requiring a demonstration of a much higher rate of growth for their current valuation, compared to HSBC (HSBA.L) or GSK (GSK.L). Laura highlights an improving outlook for income, as balance sheets have strengthened and continues to believe that UK domestic stocks look attractive from a valuation perspective. We are given examples of the investment and stock picking process by talking through Kingfisher (KGF.L), a pandemic winner – which is better managed today and where analyst numbers already factor in a reversal of the pandemic figures, leaving room for positive surprise – and Reckitt Benckiser (RB.L), which although derated, has an improving organic growth trend.

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