Henderson Smaller Companies Investment Trust

UK Smaller Companies

Rated Fund 2014-19. Experienced manager looks for the ‘four Ms’

A past winner in Money Observer’s annual investment trust awards and highly commended in 2017, Henderson Smaller Companies investment trust remains an excellent choice.

The smaller companies team at Janus Henderson bene­fits from leadership of the experienced Neil Hermon, manager of the trust since 2002 and an investor in UK smaller companies since 1993. Under his management, the trust has regularly outperformed its benchmark, the Numis Smaller Companies index.

Hermon’s main focus is growth stocks at the right price, often described as ‘growth at a reasonable price’ (Garp). He ­finds his investments mainly by conducting meetings with companies where he assesses company managers and their strategy. He looks for ‘the four Ms’: model (a strong business model); management (managers with a good track record); money (strong balance sheets and cash  ow); and momentum (good earnings momentum).

He runs a well-diversi­fied portfolio of more than 100 holdings and takes a long-term approach, holding stocks for more than five years on average.

Although the trust bene­fits from merger and acquisition activity, Hermon says he does not buy stocks with that in mind, though he admits it is nice if it happens. He is more focused on buying companies he believes can grow in the future.

Morningstar analyst David Holder regards it as a “strong candidate” for those investors seeking exposure to a broad range of UK smaller companies from the Alternative Investment Market through to the FTSE 250 index.

Narrative and ratings content all as of 01 January 2019.

See all Money Observer rated funds
Henderson Smaller Companies Investment Trust
Janus Henderson Investors Ltd
Closed Ended Investment Company
UK Smaller Companies
0.42 %
Risk Rating
3 Year Sharpe
3 Year Alpha
2.5 %
Numis SC Ex Invt Com TR GBP
Fund Size
£ 659.62 million
Discount Premium
The investment objective is to maximise the total returns for shareholders by investing mainly in smaller companies that are quoted in the UK. The strategy is to use rigorous research to identify high-quality smaller companies with strong growth potential.
Holding %
Intermediate Capital Group PLC 3.70 %
Bellway PLC 3.09 %
Clinigen Group PLC 2.79 %
John Laing Group PLC 2.51 %
Cineworld Group PLC 2.42 %
Renishaw PLC 2.27 %
RWS Holdings PLC 2.24 %
Paragon Banking Group PLC 2.16 %
AVEVA Group PLC 2.02 %
Dechra Pharmaceuticals PLC 2.00 %
Region %
United Kingdom 99.37 %
Sector %
Technology 21.17 %
Consumer Cyclical 17.80 %
Industrials 16.31 %
Financial Services 15.40 %
Basic materials 8.49 %
Real Estate 8.03 %
Healthcare 6.15 %
Janus Henderson Investors Ltd
EC2M 3AE, London, United Kingdom
Legal Structure
Closed Ended Investment Company


Neil Hermon
Joined 11/01/2002

Neil Hermon is Director of UK Equities and a Fund Manager at Janus Henderson Investors, a position he has held since 2013. He joined Henderson in 2002 as head of UK smaller companies. Prior to this, he served as head of UK smaller companies for General Accident Investment Management (later to become CGU plc). He began his career at Ernst & Young as a chartered accountant. Neil received an MA (Hons) in mathematics from Cambridge University. He is an associate member of the Society of Investment Professionals (ASIP).

Data provided by Morningstar.

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