Investment trust buyers have backed the managers of the £264m Schroder UK Public Private trust (SUPP) to turn the vehicle's fortunes around after a painful 2019 under Neil Woodford.
Investors in the Woodford Patient Capital Trust saw their holdings halve over the course of 2019, as it became embroiled in the liquidity crisis that engulfed Woodford Investment Management.
The trust's discount to net asset value (NAV) widened from around 8% in late January to 50% by early December amid numerous valuation write-downs through the year.
Forced selling of assets, plunging investor sentiment, high levels of gearing and follow-on funding requirements also conspired to inflict pain on the trust's shareholders.
A share price uptick when Schroders replaced Woodford was short lived, with the Covid-19 crisis conspiring to send the discount out to 60% at one point.
But new managers Tim Creed and Ben Wicks said the work they had completed since taking charge on 13 December means the trust is now "in control of its own destiny".
SUPP's revolving credit facility has been extended at "advantageous" rates and any previous restrictions put upon the managers have been removed.
Meanwhile, the managers have been tidying up the portfolio, partially selling out of stakes in some companies with "a high quality of co-investors [coming] into these companies alongside us".
The trust has proposed a number of short-term changes to its investment policy, including moving to quarterly NAV valuations, and reducing the minimum number of holdings to 30, from 40.
Creed said the latter decision was a short-term fix based on the high concentration in the trust's top ten holdings as well as a tail of "very small holdings [that] take up a significant amount of time but will never add a significant amount of value back". "Our plan in the long run is to have a broadly balanced, diversified portfolio of companies," he explained.
The limit of up to 80% of gross assets at the time of investment on unquoted holdings will be removed and replaced with a long-term intention for quoted companies to be "not less than 20% of gross assets".
Before Schroders took over, the trust's board underwent an overhaul to bring in directors, including Ruffer Investment Management co-founder Jane Tufnell and ex-Mercury Asset Management's Stephen Cohen.
Richard Parfect, fund manager at Seneca Investment Managers, said the appointments were "strong candidates… with good ideas", adding he was supportive of chair Susan Searle staying on until next year's AGM. "Under the circumstances, that is the right thing to do," he said.
"You do not want a wholesale change because then you are missing that continuity and understanding."