- Market Cap£911.362m
- AIC sectorUK Smaller Companies
- Manager GroupJanus Henderson
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, and 2019 was no exception.
Hermon’s main focus is growth stocks at the right price, often described as ‘growth at a reasonable price’ (or Garp) investing. He finds his investments mainly by meeting companies and assessing the 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 flow); 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.