The best and worst: UK Smaller Company Unit Trusts

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The Independent Online
'WE ADMIT our Smaller Companies fund has been a dog,' says Peter Hunt, investment marketing consultant at NM Unit Trust Managers. 'But we want to stick with it and we are re-working it.'

The fund has come under the management of Mark Stanton, who runs NM's Conscience Fund, an ethical unit trust.

In future, says Mr Hunt, the Smaller Companies trust will be structured so that half the pounds 25m fund will track a Hoare Govett smaller companies index and the remainder will aim to outperform that.

The new management structure for NM Smaller Companies will beef up the fund's research support, because it can draw on the efforts of the team behind the Conscience Fund.

Figures from Finstat show that the Conscience Fund is showing a profit of 3.6 per cent over six months (before initial charges), 3.1 per cent over a year (after charges) and 7 per cent over three years.

Many unit trust managers have been promoting small companies funds in the last six months in the expectation that after years in the doldrums they would take off on the back of economic recovery.

There are some signs that this is the case, but the movement is slow. Hoare Govett's smaller-companies indices have just about kept pace with the FTSE 100 index and the FT All Share index in the last six months.

----------------------------------------------------------------- UK SMALLER COMPANY UNIT TRUSTS ----------------------------------------------------------------- The best % 1 Royal Life UK Emerging Companies . .21.0 2 SGTR Special Opportunities . . . . .15.4 3 EFM UK Smaller Co's . . . . . . . . 15.1 4 Equitable Smaller Co's . . . . . . .15.0 5 Hill Samuel UK Emerging Co's . . . .14.8 The worst 63 Waverley Penny Share . . . . . . . .-1.7 64 Gartmore UK Smaller Co's . . . . . .-2.2 65 GRE Smaller Companies . . . . . . . -3.0 66 Scot Mutual UK Sm Co's Equity . . . -5.0 67 NM Smaller Companies . . . . . . . .-9.4 ----------------------------------------------------------------- Increase in value of units invested over six months to 1 July 1992, offer-to-offer. Source: Finstat -----------------------------------------------------------------

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