BlackRock Smaller Companies Trust
UK Smaller Companies
Rated Fund 2013-16, 2019. Backs well-capitalised companies
BlackRock Smaller Companies regains a place in our Rated Funds this year at the expense of sister trust BlackRock Throgmorton, which replaced it in 2017 and 2018.
While both are strong contenders, we recognise the outstanding record of manager Mike Prentis on BlackRock Smaller Companies, which was highly commended in the UK Growth category of Money Observer’s 2018 investment trust awards.
Prentis has run the trust since August 2002, producing a performance record that trumps the trust’s benchmark, the Numis Smaller Companies plus Aim index. Roland Arnold was appointed co-manager in April 2018, having worked with Prentis since 2005.
The pair employs a combination of top-down and bottom-up analysis. They focus on well-capitalised companies with strong management teams that are good cash generators, and firms where they see scope for significant share price gains.
Previously, Prentis also ran BlackRock Throgmorton, but stepped back in early 2018, handing the portfolio to co-manager Dan Whitestone.
The most significant difference between the two is that Throgmorton can use contracts for differences to boost performance or limit losses, arguably making it a more risky proposition than the average trust in this sector.
BlackRock Smaller Companies is also the cheaper of the two trusts, having recently removed its performance fee. Ongoing charges are 0.7% of total Mike Prentis assets.
The trust has been one of the key smaller companies funds in IpsoFacto Investor’s mainstream investment trust portfolio for much of its history. “An experienced team, a strong performance record and a well-diversified portfolio make it an attractive proposition for those prepared to navigate Brexit storms,” says David Liddell, a director of the online investment service. It is also one of Morningstar’s highest-conviction picks in the sector.
Narrative and ratings content all as of 01 January 2019.See all Money Observer rated funds
|BlackRock ICS Sterling Liq Agency Inc||2.11 %|
|Robert Walters PLC||2.00 %|
|4imprint Group PLC||1.99 %|
|YouGov PLC||1.91 %|
|Integrafin Hldg||1.90 %|
|Big Yellow Group PLC||1.74 %|
|Premier Asset Management Group PLC||1.71 %|
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|accesso Technology Group PLC||1.64 %|
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|Consumer Cyclical||18.14 %|
|Financial Services||13.41 %|
|Basic materials||10.82 %|
|Real Estate||6.49 %|
Roland Arnold, Director and Portfolio Manager, is a member of the UK Equity team in the Fundamental Equity division of BlackRock's Alpha Strategies Group. Mr Arnold's primary responsibility is managing small and mid cap UK equity portfolios, with a sector emphasis on Technology. Mr Arnold's service with the firm dates back to 2000, including his years with Merrill Lynch Investment Managers (MLIM), which merged with BlackRock in 2006. Prior to joining MLIM in 2000, Mr Arnold worked at a UK retail bank as a performance and credit analyst. Mr Arnold earned a BA (Hones) in Economics and Management from Leeds University in 1998.
Data provided by Morningstar.
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