Cavendish AIM Fund B
UK Smaller Companies
New for 2020. A dedicated Aim fund with runaway performance
TM Cavendish Aim lifted the Best UK Smaller/Mid Cap Equity fund trophy in Money Observer's 2019 awards, thanks to its manager Paul Mumford's strong stockpicking. It joins our Rated Funds for 2020 for investors looking for a dedicated Alternative Investment Market fund. Mumford is a veteran smaller companies manager. He was recently joined by Nick Burchett (who previously worked at Investec), which alleviates concerns about succession planning.
Mumford is a value investor. This means he often fishes for bargains in unloved sectors. Despite value investing being deeply out of favour in recent years and Aim carrying higher risk than larger-companies indices - due to constituent businesses being at early stages in their development - this fund is a runaway performer. Mumford made a handsome profit picking up oil and gas stocks at the height of the bear market back in 2009, with many of his purchases subsequently being taken over. He focused on this area again in the wake of the 2014 oil price crash, when oil and gas shares were trading at "stupidly low" valuations. However, the manager has not been immune to value traps, a classic example being music retailer HMV.
Mumford holds around 70 companies. Initially, he invests no more than 1.5% of the fund's assets, which are relatively modest at £67 million. That way, if a company goes bust, this does not have too damaging an effect on the wider portfolio.
He is an active investor and in 2019 attempted to block Quilter's takeover of Aim-listed Lighthouse - unsuccessfully. Although Quilter paid a 24.5% premium for Lighthouse, Mumford feels he could have made more on the shares.
Narrative and ratings content all as of January 2020.See all Money Observer rated funds
Paul joined stockbroking firm Norris Oakley Brothers in 1963, where he specialised in the analysis of asset situations including those in the property sector. In 1974 he moved to R Nivison and focused on smaller company investing. In 1988 Paul switched to fund management when he joined Glenfriars Unit Trust Managers where he ran the Glenfriars Opportunities Fund. He took this fund, now known as Cavendish Opportunities Fund across to Cavendish Asset Management at the Group's formation in 1994.
Data provided by Morningstar.
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