THE Scottish Investment Trust has recruited an additional specialist to help it identify undervalued companies amid the fallout from the Covid-19 coronavirus crisis.

James Webb has joined the £712m investment trust after working at the Wood Mackenzie oil and gas consultancy and the Ninety One asset management business.

The trust said Mr Webb would bring strong analytical and research skills to his work as a key member of the six-strong team that manages its assets from Edinburgh.

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The investment company follows what it describes as a contrarian strategy. It says this involves seeking out unfashionable and underappreciated stocks that are ripe for improvement.

The manager of the trust, Alasdair McKinnon, said: “The world post Covid-19 will be a hunting ground for contrarian investments and James will be a valuable resource in unearthing these gems.”

In the first half results announcement it released in June, SIT said it had achieved a resilient performance amid market turmoil.

The trust’s chairman James Will said then that timely and significant portfolio changes made by the manager in anticipation of lockdowns in Western markets had helped to shield capital.

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Mr McKinnon noted the trust had reduced its exposure to retailers and banks. It established positions in unloved tobacco stocks, such as British American Tobacco, in the belief the cash flow and dividend paying potential for such companies was underestimated by the market

The trust achieved a net asset value per share total return of -5.8 per cent in the six months to April 30.

It was incorporated in 1887.

A graduate of the University of Aberdeen, Mr Webb relocated from London to Edinburgh to take up the job at the trust.