THE family investment office of Stagecoach co-founder Sir Brian Souter has seen the value of its portfolio grow by nine per cent per annum since its formation in 2007.

Publishing its fourth triennial investment review, Edinburgh-based Souter Investments said its performance outstripped that of UK quoted equities, which achieved an annual return of 5%, over the period.

And the firm, which describes its investment approach as “sector agnostic”, declared that it would continue to invest throughout the current political and economic uncertainty.

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The firm, which holds a 15% shareholding in Stagecoach, noted that it has made 10 investments, in sectors such as oil and gas, financial services and technology, since its last triennial review in 2016. It also made a similar number of exits from portfolio companies, most notably from Falkirk-based bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis earlier this year.

The £320m sale of Alexander Dennis to NFI Group, North America’s biggest bus and coach manufacturer, is understood to have netted Souter Investments a windfall of around £160m. Souter Investments has also sold Mobius Life, a provider of investment administration services to UK pension schemes, and home medical equipment specialist Baywater Healthcare since its last investment review.

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Sir Brian said: “Our total portfolio, excluding Stagecoach, increased in value by 9% per annum over the 12 years ended March 2019. This compares against a 5% annual return on UK quoted equities over the same period. Although this does not sound like much of a difference, the compounding effect means that the value of our portfolio is 55% higher than it would be if we invested solely in the UK stock market.

“Despite the uncertain political and economic times facing us all, our portfolio is in good shape and Souter Investments has the liquidity to continue investing through the cycle. 

“I remain positive in the ability for canny investors to find value in the coming years and hopefully Souter Investments can continue to be one of those investors.”

Sir Brian revealed yesterday that it he had donated 28% of the shares in Souter Investment, valued at £109 million, to The Souter Charitable Trust.

The most recent accounts for Souter Investments show that it the overall value of its investments stood at £472.8m at March 31. That included its stake in Stagecoach, which was valued at £133m.

Sir Brian added: “The Souter Charitable Trust has donated more than £98m to 13,000 worthwhile causes over the last 13 years and this gift will allow it to continue this important work.”