Liontrust Special Situations Fund I Inc
Rated Fund 2013-14 and 2018-19. A great core holding for most types of investor.
In 2018 we swapped Liontrust UK Growth for the award-winning Liontrust Special Situations fund, which is run by the same managers, as the latter had been performing better with lower volatility. This proved to be a good move over 2018.
Liontrust Special Situations is managed by Anthony Cross and Julian Fosh using their ‘economic advantage’ approach to investing. It was highly commended in the Best Larger UK Growth Fund category in our 2013 awards and took top spot for the first time in 2017.
Cross has managed the fund since its inception in 2005. Fosh joined him in 2008. The fund’s assets have grown to almost £4 billion spread across 53 holdings.
The fund is typically very different from the UK stockmarket. It has a significant underweight to large companies, and a big part of the portfolio is invested in small and medium-sized companies.
The managers look for businesses with intellectual property, which includes strong distribution networks, recurring revenue streams and products with no obvious substitutes. Cross and Fosh also favour companies with strong brands and good customer relationships, in the belief that these attributes give a business the power to produce higher levels of profitability for longer than might be expected.
Another important consideration for them is how key employees are motivated. They prefer the board of directors to directly own shares in a company.
Darius McDermott, managing director at fund ratings and research provider FundCalibre, says: “The resulting portfolio consists of businesses that can grow their earnings independently of the wider economy, making this a great core holding for most types of investor.”
Narrative and ratings content all as of 01 January 2019.See all Money Observer rated funds
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Julian E C Fosh
Julian Fosh joined Liontrust in 2008 from Saracen Fund Managers Ltd to co-manage the Liontrust UK Growth, Special Situations and UK Smaller Companies Funds with Anthony Cross. Julian has worked with Anthony to develop the Liontrust Economic Advantage process. Awards for the funds that Julian co-manages with Anthony Cross include Liontrust being named the Best Smaller Companies Group at the Professional Adviser Awards in 2009 and the Liontrust Special Situations Fund being named as the Best UK Growth fund at the Investment Week Fund Manager of the Year Awards in 2011 and 2012. From 2004 to 2008, Julian was the co-manager of Saracen Growth Fund, a top quartile performing UK equities portfolio. Before this, Julian headed up the investment department at Scottish Friendly Assurance Society Limited where he managed a range of funds including UK equity OEICs, life and pension funds. In his eight years at Scottish Friendly, six of Julian’s nine funds were in the top quartile of their respective sectors. In a career going back to 1984, Julian has also worked at Britannia Investment Managers and Scottish Amicable. Julian graduated in 1994 from Merton College Oxford with an MA in Jurisprudence.
Anthony Cross joined Schroder Investment Management as a graduate trainee. He spent his first three years as an equity analyst before joining the Smaller Companies team in 1994. During this time, Anthony identified a number of characteristics common to successful companies and on joining Liontrust in 1997 he was able to develop his thoughts further and create a documented investment process. This process, called Liontrust Economic Advantage, was applied to the Liontrust UK Smaller Companies Fund from the start of 1998. Its success and relevance to the broader market led to the launch of the Liontrust Special Situations Fund in 2005, the management of the Liontrust UK Growth Fund in 2009, and the launch of the Liontrust UK Micro Cap Fund in 2016. Awards for the funds that Anthony co-manages with Julian Fosh include Liontrust being named Best UK Equity Group by Money Observer magazine, the Liontrust Special Situations Fund being named: Best UK Growth fund at the Investment Week Fund Manager of the Year Awards in 2011 and 2012; Best UK Growth Fund at What Investment magazine; Best Fund in the UK All Companies Sector at the Moneywise Fund Awards 2012; and won the UK Equity Gold Award 2012 from Portfolio Adviser. The fund is also member of the 2012 100 club. Anthony graduated in 1990 from Exeter University with a degree in politics.
Data provided by Morningstar.
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