This week marks the anniversary of William Shakespeare's birth (26 April 1564) and death (23 April 1616).
Widely regarded as being the greatest writer in the English language, the 'Bard of Avon' is also estimated as being the best-selling author of all time, beating the likes of Agatha Christie, Barbara Cartland, Enid Blyton and J. K. Rowling.
Having produced most of his works in a 24 year period between 1589 and 1613, his plays remain popular and are still studied, performed, and reinterpreted all around the world.
But which UK equity fund managers have also stood the test of time? We take a look at four.
EdenTree Amity UK is the longest-established ethical fund in the UK and has been run since launch in 1988 by Sue Round. Sue joined EdenTree in 1984 (then Ecclesiastical Investment Management) and, along with the company, is a pioneer in ethical, environmental, social and corporate governance investing, running money for a number of charities as well as ordinary investors. Today, perhaps more than ever, these issues are higher up the agenda for the public and investors alike. Responsible investing is a key factor in Sue's decision making, with any potential investment having to pass through a rigorous multi-factor screening process.
Giles has managed this fund since July 1998 and chairs the weekly investment committee meetings, in which the team review existing and potential investments for all funds. It typically holds around 200 companies to reduce stock-specific risk and relatively small positions are taken initially. Giles will then run his winners, adding to them as their story unfolds. The fund has evolved as it has grown over the years and now invests in both small and medium-sized companies. Giles Hargreave and his team's reputation as astute stock pickers is richly deserved and the fund has been on the Chelsea Selection for many years.
Run by Adrian Frost since he joined Artemis in 2002, this is an all-weather fund: a stalwart of the UK equity income sector with an excellent team, a strong process and a good long-term track record. Designed to offer a diversified, eclectic mix of cashflows from different companies to ensure a sustainable and durable income, it has also been on the Chelsea Selection for some time.
Investing in a flexible, high-conviction portfolio of UK stocks, Adrian targets a rising income and capital gain. He can and will invest up to 20% of the fund in overseas stocks if the right opportunities arise.
Martin Cholwill joined Royal London Asset Management in March 2005 as manager of this fund. Prior to that, he had spent 21 years working for AXA Investment Managers, where he ran a variety of UK equity portfolios. This core equity income fund invests in high yielding UK companies, with a particular emphasis on those that generate significant free cash flow to fund sustainable dividend payments. Martin has a pragmatic approach, aiming to build a portfolio suitable for all market conditions. In normal circumstances, the fund will be broadly diversified across sectors, but if Martin believes a sector is too expensive, he's not afraid to avoid it completely.
Past performance is not a reliable guide to future returns. You may not get back the amount originally invested, and tax rules can change over time. The author's views are their own and do not constitute financial advice.