The UK smaller company investment trust will be moving to Jupiter when its long-standing fund manager retires.
Simon Knott, who has managed the smaller company-focused Rights & Issues Investment Trust (LSE:RIII) for nearly four decades, is to retire in September.
The investment trust, which has been self-managed under Knott, will be moving to Jupiter. Its new lead manager will be Dan Nickols, supported by Matt Cable. The duo run the open-ended Jupiter UK Smaller Companies fund. The changes will be effective from 1 September.
Knott, the longest-serving investment trust manager behind Peter Spiller of Capital Gearing (LSE:CGT), will continue to be involved with the trust as a non-executive director.
David Bramwell, chair of Rights & Issues, pointing out that over Knott’s tenure “outstanding returns for shareholders” have been delivered, with the net asset value (NAV) per share of the company increasing 10,371%, compared with a return of 610% for the FTSE All-Share Index.
He added: “We are very pleased that Simon will remain a non-executive director of the company following his retirement as investment manager.
“At the same time, we look forward to working with the Jupiter team over the transition period and as investment manager from 1 September 2022. Jupiter’s UK small and mid-cap equity team has a formidable reputation as a deeply resourced and top-performing investment team.”
The appointment of Jupiter does not require a shareholder vote, as it will not result in a change to the investment objective or investment policy of the company.
A shareholder vote is required only if this leads to “material change” to how the trust invests. A recent example requiring shareholder approval was Keystone investment trust’s move to join the Baillie Gifford stable under its Positive Change team. The trust, which is now called Keystone Positive Change , moved away from its focus on UK equities to a global mandate. Given the change of approach, shareholder approval was required, and the vote was successful.
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In the announcement, it was pointed out that since Nickols has been manager of Jupiter UK Smaller Companies (1 January 2004) the fund has returned 875.6%, to 30 April 2022. Over the same period, the benchmark, the Numis Smaller Companies Index excluding Investment Companies, has returned 463.6%.
Rights & Issues has total assets of £189 million. Figures from Winterflood, the analyst, show the trust trading on a discount of 12.8%. Over the past year, its discount has averaged 10.1%.
To provide investors with an exit ahead of Jupiter taking the reins, a tender offer of 10% of the shares will be held. Under this offer, investors will have the opportunity to buy back shares at 96% of the trust’s NAV.
Longest-serving investment trust managers
|Company name||AIC sector||Manager name||Start date||Time managing fund|
|Capital Gearing||Flexible Investment||Peter Spiller||05/04/1982||30 years|
|Rights & Issues||UK Smaller Companies||Simon Knott||01/01/1984||38 years|
|Lowland||UK Equity Income||James H Henderson||01/01/1990||32 years|
|City of London||UK Equity Income||Job Curtis||01/07/1991||30 years|
|Herald||Global Smaller Companies||Katie Potts||16/02/1994||28 years|
|JPMorgan Emerging Markets||Global Emerging Markets||Austin Forey||01/06/1994||28 years|
|Aberdeen Standard Asia Focus||Asia-Pacific Smaller Companies||Hugh Young||19/10/1995||26 years|
|British & American||UK Equity Income||Jonathan Woolf||03/01/1996||26 years|
|Atlantis Japan Growth||Japanese Smaller Companies||Edwin C Merner||10/05/1996||26 years|
|BMO Capital & Income||UK Equity Income||Julian Cane||01/03/1997||25 years|
|JPMorgan UK Smaller Companies||UK Smaller Companies||Georgina Brittain||02/01/1998||24 years|
|JPMorgan European Discovery||European Smaller Companies||Francesco Conte||01/11/1998||23 years|
|Chelverton UK Dividend||UK Equity Income||David Horner||12/05/1999||22 years|
|BMO Private Equity||Private Equity||Hamish Mair||01/02/2000||
Source: Association of Investment Companies (AIC).
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