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Top 10

Download Top 10

Data as at 31 Dec 2020

 

The Top 10 holdings in the LF Blue Whale Growth Fund make up approximately 50% of the total value of the fund.

In picking our Top 10, we employ what we internally call ‘The Beautiful Companies Concept’. That is picking those companies which fulfil several important criteria that we believe makes them ‘beautiful’. They represent our highest conviction picks within the portfolio and offer, we believe, a significant upside to the current share price.

Here we take a look at each of our Top 10 holdings and explain why they feature in top positions within our portfolio. 

Please note that the Top 10 is provided for information only and the views we express on holdings do not constitute Investment Recommendations and must not be viewed as such.

Supplying the best creative software, benefitting from the world’s shift to digital content

Company: Adobe

Sector: Media

Initial Investment: Sep-17

Company Size: £172bn

Adobe has more than 50% of the digital content creation software market. Whenever you view an image, video, website, magazine, or even an app, there is a good chance it was created using its software. We believe Adobe will be a major beneficiary of continued explosive growth in this market, as ever-richer digital content is consumed across devices. Meanwhile, Adobe’s pioneering transition to a subscription model is unlocking international growth opportunities and helping to combat software piracy. 

Ubiquitous design software - whether you are designing a spaceship or a new living room

Company: Autodesk

Sector: Industrials

Initial Investment: Mar-18

Company Size: £46bn

AutoCAD, Revit and Inventor are industry-standard computer aided design (CAD) tools made by Autodesk that are deeply embedded in the construction and manufacturing industries.

We’re optimistic about Autodesk for a number of reasons: Autodesk is helping to drive a long-overdue ‘digitisation’ of the construction industry with paper drawings and post-it notes being replaced by digital models and iPads. A subscription transition in the vein of Adobe and Microsoft should bring Autodesk closer to its customers, provide more predictable cash flows, help to combat software piracy, and allow delivery of continuous innovation to customers. On the final point we are excited about advances that Autodesk is making in areas like web-based CAD, Generative Design and software tools for 3D Printing.

The only super-app connecting billions of consumers and businesses globally

Company: Facebook

Sector: Media

Initial Investment: Sep-17

Company Size: £592bn

How Facebook is used is often subject to debate, but we believe the outlook for the business is much more positive. 1.7 billion people or 20% of the world’s population log into Facebook every day. That number grows by a few hundred million every year. Advertisers continue to love the enormous reach and precise targeting that Facebook offers. They spent more than $10bn developing the platform every year. We are optimistic about future growth prospects driven by continued increase in the number of advertisers, further improvement in the relevance of ads, the nascent monetisation of WhatsApp, e-commerce particularly on Instagram and perhaps even digital payments.

Leading accounting software helping millions of small businesses stay on top of their finances

Company: Intuit

Sector: Technology

Initial Investment: Feb-18

Company Size: £69bn

Intuit is the company behind both QuickBooks, the leading accounting software for small business globally and TurboTax, the leading tax-filing software for individuals in the US. This niche focus and an excellent management team that embraces ‘self-disruption’ have helped Intuit to thrive across various technology era’s (DOS, Windows, Web and Mobile) since its founding in the 1980s.

While accounting and tax may sound ‘boring’, Intuit enjoys myriad growth opportunities. The majority of small businesses still don’t use any accounting software and the majority of US citizens still pay professionals to help file their taxes. Technology is helping to change both. For example, QuickBooks Online, the web and mobile based version, allows receipts and invoices to be captured in seconds using a smartphone camera and automatically matched to bank statements. QuickBooks Online has grown their subscribers from 700k to 3.4m in just 3 years – impressive, yet still only a fraction of the hundreds of millions of small businesses globally that Intuit targets.

Enabling half of all card transactions globally? Priceless

Company: Mastercard

Sector: Financials

Initial Investment: Oct-17

Company Size: £252bn

Mastercard is a high quality business benefiting from the structural shift of payments away from cash to mobile, online and contactless transactions. At its core, Mastercard runs BankNet, a global payment network connecting major banks for verifying and processing card payments. Mastercard is able to process hundreds of millions of transactions per day due to its superior technology. Looking ahead, Mastercard is seeking to build on its successes in consumer payments to business-to-business transactions (much of which is still made manually by cash or cheque) and we are confident in their ability to navigate and execute on this multi-decade opportunity.

Powering businesses and home computing around the world is not enough for the world’s largest software company

Company: Microsoft

Sector: Technology

Initial Investment: Sep-17

Company Size: £1,215bn

Microsoft’s products; Windows, Office, server operating systems and developer tools, are part of the foundation of almost every enterprise. But history is littered with examples of companies in such enviable positions that abuse their power over customers and fail to adapt to a changing world.  We believe Microsoft is a rare exception. 

Since taking over as CEO in 2014, Satya Nadella has reinvigorated Microsoft by pursing a more ‘open’ strategy (Office 365 works on Apple iPhones - unthinkable previously), overhauling internal culture to attract the best talent and focusing attention firmly on the future of technology (Microsoft is one of the top contributors to open source software and artificial intelligence research). 

For the discerning, Moncler keeps you warm on alpine slopes and stylish on city streets.

Company: Moncler

Sector: Luxury Goods

Initial Investment: Sep-17

Company Size: £12bn

Moncler is a luxury outerwear brand famous for its down jackets. Since its acquisition in 2003 by current Chairman and CEO Remo Ruffini, its brand equity has been burnished by a focus on quality, control and highly effective marketing. Combined with an aggressive store roll-out strategy enabling a shift from wholesale to retail, the company has grown revenues by 10x over the last 15 years. Moncler continues to have significant headroom to open new stores and also has an opportunity to increase its presence beyond its main outerwear category. The announced acquisition of Stone Island, a brand that resembles Moncler itself ten years ago, gives management an opportunity to revisit the most successful elements of its playbook and accelerate revenue and free cash flow growth over the medium-term.

The only way to pay safely and securely online across multiple platforms and websites globally

Company: PayPal

Sector: Financials

Initial Investment: Sep-17

Company Size: £188bn

PayPal is a high quality business benefiting from structural growth in digital payments. At its core is a global two-sided payment network operating at scale, storing payment details for consumers while processing online transactions for businesses. PayPal’s scale comes from its first mover advantage at the dawn of the consumer internet. Network effects and superior technology helped PayPal grow users in the tens of millions to more than 250 million in 2018. More recently, PayPal has been extending its lead over competitors through commercial partnerships spanning financial institutions (Barclays, HSBC, Amex) as well as tech giants (Facebook, Google).

PayPal’s ability to keep growing its lead – commercially and technologically – gives us confidence that the business is likely to perform well in the long run.

Improving the quality of life for ageing populations with joint replacements and lifesaving operations

Company: Stryker

Sector: Healthcare

Initial Investment: Jan-20

Company Size: £66bn

Stryker is a world-leading medical device company with market leading positions across its three franchises in Orthopaedics, Medical Surgery and Neurotechnology. We believe that through a combination of a highly dynamic culture, exceptional customer focus and innovation Stryker is able to outperform the medical device industry. Moreover, tailwinds, such as Stryker’s robotic platform and international expansion, should continue to support Stryker’s growth over multiple years.

We also consider Stryker’s management team to be one of the best in the industry and view their capital allocation, which is focused on small acquisitions in their core areas, as judicious. As a result, we are confident in Stryker’s ability to deliver double-digit cash flow growth over the medium term and hence view it as an attractive investment.

The world’s largest and most connected payments company

Company: Visa

Sector: Financials

Initial Investment: Mar-18

Company Size: £337bn

Visa is a high quality business benefiting from the structural shift of payments away from cash to mobile, online and contactless transactions. Visa operates VisaNet, a global payment network connecting major banks for verifying and processing card transactions. In 2018, Visa successfully merged its European and global operations so that its full array of value added products and services (especially in transaction security) could be rolled out across bank and fintech customers across Europe. Like Mastercard, Visa is building on its successes in consumer payments and bringing this to the B2B space. We are confident in their ability to navigate and execute on this multi-decade opportunity.

 

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