Rated Fund 2014-2017. Gaining exposure to the world's fastest-growing companies
A multiple Money Observer award winner, F&C Global Smaller Companies has a strong and consistent past performance record. Overseen by Peter Ewins, director of F&C's smaller company division, it is the UK's largest specialist global smaller companies investment trust. Ewins decides the trust's allocation strategy with support from other F&C managers.
Exposure is achieved both through direct investment and the use of external funds. Although most of the trust's returns come from capital growth and it has a yield of under 1 per cent, it has nevertheless built up an impressive 46-year record of annual dividend increases.
During 2016 the portfolio's exposure to North America rose to 45 per cent, mainly at the expense of its UK holdings, which fell to 25 per cent. The trust has a slightly lower-than-average weighting to Europe at 10 per cent but somewhat higher exposure to Japan at 8 per cent, with the remainder spread mainly across other Asian markets. It is highly diversified with nearly 200 holdings.
Ewins himself manages its UK portfolio, while F&C's other smaller company specialist managers are responsible for North American and continental Europe. Ewins also selects external managers to gain exposure to companies in areas where F&C lacks its own smaller company investment management resources, such as Japan, Asia, Latin America and Africa.
Its largest investments include funds such as Eastspring Investments Japan Smaller Companies, Aberdeen Global Japanese Smaller Companies and the investment trust Scottish Oriental Smaller Companies.