abrdn UK Smaller Companies Growth Trust plc

Capturing the growth potential of UK smaller companies


Morningstar rating:
4 out of 5

Daily prices as of 23 May 2022

Share Price 507.00p

Estimated NAV cum income 590.48p

Estimated NAV ex income 586.55p

Dividend Yield 1.5%

Premium / (Discount) to NAV cum income -14.1%

Premium / (Discount) to NAV ex income -13.6%

Source: Morningstar

About us

Find out more about our investment objective, approach, portfolio and performance.

Insights

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Latest news

An update from our investment managers, Harry Nimmo & Abby Glennie - 29 April 2022

Top-down, macroeconomic effects rather than stock-specific issues have driven the rotation away from quality-growth stocks. Higher inflation, interest -rate rises, political tensions and supply-chain challenges have heightened investor uncertainty. Notwithstanding this, we have been encouraged by the strong earnings reported by holdings in the Trust, confirming that the sell-off in our quality-growth companies is inconsistent with the underlying trading and fundamentals of these businesses. It is encouraging that the Matrix scores (our proprietary screening tool) across the Trust have remained strong, supported by the underlying earnings strength and continued quality characteristics. The market rotation has driven the valuation differential between value and quality-growth companies to compress. Many cyclical-value stocks will also face stiff headwinds, including the possibility of further pandemic restrictions, inflationary pressures, rising interest rates, falling consumer disposable incomes and continued supply-chain disruptions. In such a challenging environment, we believe quality-growth businesses should prove more robust, resilient and reliable. We hold companies with strong market positions and pricing power, with a better ability to pass on higher costs and protect margins. Such companies will have opportunities to gain market share, in our view. It is difficult to predict when this macro-driven value rally will end, but in March, the UK market has been less driven by the macro and less against our style as we have begun to hear from companies as they report. So, while there are signs that the impact of January/February is easing, there are still a number of uncertainties ahead. While companies are still passing on price inflation, with many businesses having had a few price rises now, it remains to be seen for how long this can continue without affecting demand. We continue to look through the top-down macroeconomic ‘noise’ by remaining focused on company reporting and fundamentals.

 
 

Latest manager update

Abby Glennie provides an update on the Trust over the last six months.


Profile

The Company intends to achieve its investment objective by investing in a diversified portfolio consisting mainly of UK-quoted smaller companies. The portfolio will normally comprise around 50 individual holdings representing the Investment Manager’s highest conviction investment ideas. In order to reduce risk in the Company without compromising flexibility, no holding within the portfolio should exceed 5% of total assets at the time of acquisition.

The Company may use derivatives for portfolio hedging purposes (i.e. only for the purpose of reducing, transferring or eliminating the investment risks in its investments in order to protect the Company’s portfolio).

Within the Company’s Articles of Association, the maximum level of gearing is 100% of net assets. The Directors have set parameters of between 5% net cash and 25% net gearing (at the time of drawdown) for the level of gearing that can be employed in normal market conditions. The Directors have delegated responsibility to the Investment Manager for the operation of the gearing level within the above parameters.

The Investment Manager’s investment process combines asset allocation, stock selection, portfolio construction, risk management, and dealing. The investment process has evolved out of the Investment Manager’s “Focus on Change” philosophy and is led by Quality, Growth and Momentum. The Investment Manager’s stock selection led investment process involves compiling a shortlist of potential investments using a proprietary screening tool known as “The Matrix” which reflects Quality, Growth and Momentum based factor analysis. The final portfolio is research intensive and includes face to face meetings with senior management of these potential investments. This disciplined process has been embedded for many years and has delivered a consistency of performance through economic and market cycles.

Key people

Harry Nimmo

Harry Nimmo

Investment Director

Harry graduated with an MBA from the University of Edinburgh in 1984 and joined the company as an Investment Analyst with responsibility for UK equity funds in 1985. He became Senior Investment Analyst with sector responsibility for larger UK-quoted companies funds in 1990 and Investment Manager responsible for the UK equity smaller (quoted) company funds in 1993.
Abby Glenie

Abby Glennie

Deputy Head

Abby Glennie is Deputy Head of Smaller Companies at abrdn. She is lead manager on our UK Mid-Cap strategies and co-manager on our UK Smaller Companies strategies.

Abby joined the Company in February 2013 as a member of the UK Equity Team, initially working on the UK Large Cap desk, before moving to Smaller Companies in Jan 2016. She was appointed Deputy Head of the team in early 2020, and as part of her role on the EMG she helps lead the Equities Charity Group. Prior to this she worked at Kames Capital (previously Aegon Asset Management) as a Graduate Trainee Investment Manager.

Abby has a joint First-Class Honours degree in Economics and Finance and is a CFA charterholder.

  • Harry Nimmo

    Harry Nimmo

    Investment Director

    Harry graduated with an MBA from the University of Edinburgh in 1984 and joined the company as an Investment Analyst with responsibility for UK equity funds in 1985. He became Senior Investment Analyst with sector responsibility for larger UK-quoted companies funds in 1990 and Investment Manager responsible for the UK equity smaller (quoted) company funds in 1993.
  • Abby Glenie

    Abby Glennie

    Deputy Head

    Abby Glennie is Deputy Head of Smaller Companies at abrdn. She is lead manager on our UK Mid-Cap strategies and co-manager on our UK Smaller Companies strategies.

    Abby joined the Company in February 2013 as a member of the UK Equity Team, initially working on the UK Large Cap desk, before moving to Smaller Companies in Jan 2016. She was appointed Deputy Head of the team in early 2020, and as part of her role on the EMG she helps lead the Equities Charity Group. Prior to this she worked at Kames Capital (previously Aegon Asset Management) as a Graduate Trainee Investment Manager.

    Abby has a joint First-Class Honours degree in Economics and Finance and is a CFA charterholder.

Liz Airey

Liz Airey

Chairman

Liz was appointed as a Director on 21 August 2019 and was appointed Chairman on 1 April 2020. She also chairs the Nomination Committee. She is currently a Non-Executive Director of BlackRock Frontiers Investment Trust plc and Kirk Lovegrove & Company Limited, a member of the Investments Committee of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, and Chair of Trustees of the Rolls-Royce UK Pension Fund. She has previously been the Non-Executive Chairman of Jupiter Fund Management plc, a Non-Executive Director of Tate & Lyle plc, Dunedin Enterprise Investment Trust plc, JP Morgan European Smaller Companies Trust plc, Zetex plc and AMEC plc. In her executive career, Liz was Finance Director of Monument Oil and Gas plc, a post she held from 1990 until the sale of the company to Lasmo plc in 1999.

Ashton Bradbury

Ashton Bradbury

Director

Ashton was appointed as a Director on 2 July 2018. He has previously held roles at Charterhouse Tilney, Hill Samuel Investment Management and HSBC Asset Management Europe and was, until 2014, a Fund Manager with Old Mutual Global Investors Limited, where he established its Small and Mid Cap equities team. Ashton is currently a Non-Executive Director of  British Golf Association Limited and is Non-Executive Chairman of Golf Union of Wales Limited. Ashton holds a BSc in Banking and Finance from Loughborough University of Technology.
Alexa Henderson

Alexa Henderson

Director

Alexa was appointed as a Director on 8 October 2018. Alexa has over 30 years’ experience in finance, accounting and audit having worked with KPMG, Arthur Andersen and Deutsche Bank (WM Company). She is currently a Non-Executive Director of BMO Real Estate Investments Limited and Chairman of JP Morgan Japan Smaller Companies Trust PLC. In addition, Alexa is a director of Bravura Solutions Ltd, a company incorporated in Australia. Previous directorships include Scottish Building Society (which she chaired for 4 years) and Adam & Company Group PLC (a private wealth subsidiary of RBS). Alexa Henderson holds a BSc in Economics and Accounting from Edinburgh University and is a Chartered Accountant.
Caroline Ramsay

Caroline Ramsay

Director

Caroline was appointed as a Director on 22 August 2016 and is Chair of the Audit Committee . Caroline is currently a member of the Supervisory Board of Aegon NV and was previously a Non-Executive Director of Aegon UK PLC, Scottish Equitable plc, Scottish Equitable Holding Ltd and Cofunds Ltd. She is a Non-Executive Director of Tesco Underwriting Limited and Brit Syndicates Limited and is a member of the Financial Conduct Authority’s Regulatory Decisions Committee. Until June 2015, Caroline was the Group Chief Auditor for RSA plc having held previous senior positions at RSA plc including UK Chief Financial Officer. After qualifying and practising as a chartered accountant with KPMG, she held various roles within Aviva Plc.
Tim Shoefield

Tim Scholefield

Director

Tim was appointed as a Director on 20 February 2017 and is the Company's Senior Independent Director. He also chairs the Management Engagement Committee. Tim is an Associate of the Society of Investment Professionals and previously held roles at Royal Sun Alliance Investments and Scottish Widows Investment Partnership. He was, until 2014, Head of Equities at Baring Asset Management. Tim is currently Chairman of Invesco Bond Income Plus Limited, a Non-Executive Director of BMO Capital and Income Investment Trust Plc and Allianz Technology Trust PLC. In addition, he is a Non-Executive Director of Jupiter Unit Trust Managers Ltd and a consultant to Gresham House Asset Management.
  • Liz Airey

    Liz Airey

    Chairman

    Liz was appointed as a Director on 21 August 2019 and was appointed Chairman on 1 April 2020. She also chairs the Nomination Committee. She is currently a Non-Executive Director of BlackRock Frontiers Investment Trust plc and Kirk Lovegrove & Company Limited, a member of the Investments Committee of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, and Chair of Trustees of the Rolls-Royce UK Pension Fund. She has previously been the Non-Executive Chairman of Jupiter Fund Management plc, a Non-Executive Director of Tate & Lyle plc, Dunedin Enterprise Investment Trust plc, JP Morgan European Smaller Companies Trust plc, Zetex plc and AMEC plc. In her executive career, Liz was Finance Director of Monument Oil and Gas plc, a post she held from 1990 until the sale of the company to Lasmo plc in 1999.

  • Ashton Bradbury

    Ashton Bradbury

    Director

    Ashton was appointed as a Director on 2 July 2018. He has previously held roles at Charterhouse Tilney, Hill Samuel Investment Management and HSBC Asset Management Europe and was, until 2014, a Fund Manager with Old Mutual Global Investors Limited, where he established its Small and Mid Cap equities team. Ashton is currently a Non-Executive Director of  British Golf Association Limited and is Non-Executive Chairman of Golf Union of Wales Limited. Ashton holds a BSc in Banking and Finance from Loughborough University of Technology.
  • Alexa Henderson

    Alexa Henderson

    Director

    Alexa was appointed as a Director on 8 October 2018. Alexa has over 30 years’ experience in finance, accounting and audit having worked with KPMG, Arthur Andersen and Deutsche Bank (WM Company). She is currently a Non-Executive Director of BMO Real Estate Investments Limited and Chairman of JP Morgan Japan Smaller Companies Trust PLC. In addition, Alexa is a director of Bravura Solutions Ltd, a company incorporated in Australia. Previous directorships include Scottish Building Society (which she chaired for 4 years) and Adam & Company Group PLC (a private wealth subsidiary of RBS). Alexa Henderson holds a BSc in Economics and Accounting from Edinburgh University and is a Chartered Accountant.
  • Caroline Ramsay

    Caroline Ramsay

    Director

    Caroline was appointed as a Director on 22 August 2016 and is Chair of the Audit Committee . Caroline is currently a member of the Supervisory Board of Aegon NV and was previously a Non-Executive Director of Aegon UK PLC, Scottish Equitable plc, Scottish Equitable Holding Ltd and Cofunds Ltd. She is a Non-Executive Director of Tesco Underwriting Limited and Brit Syndicates Limited and is a member of the Financial Conduct Authority’s Regulatory Decisions Committee. Until June 2015, Caroline was the Group Chief Auditor for RSA plc having held previous senior positions at RSA plc including UK Chief Financial Officer. After qualifying and practising as a chartered accountant with KPMG, she held various roles within Aviva Plc.
  • Tim Shoefield

    Tim Scholefield

    Director

    Tim was appointed as a Director on 20 February 2017 and is the Company's Senior Independent Director. He also chairs the Management Engagement Committee. Tim is an Associate of the Society of Investment Professionals and previously held roles at Royal Sun Alliance Investments and Scottish Widows Investment Partnership. He was, until 2014, Head of Equities at Baring Asset Management. Tim is currently Chairman of Invesco Bond Income Plus Limited, a Non-Executive Director of BMO Capital and Income Investment Trust Plc and Allianz Technology Trust PLC. In addition, he is a Non-Executive Director of Jupiter Unit Trust Managers Ltd and a consultant to Gresham House Asset Management.

Financial calendar

Year End 30 June
Accounts Published August
Annual General Meeting October
Dividend Paid April, October

Trust details

abrdn UK Smaller Companies Growth Trust plc

Registered Office:
1 George Street
Edinburgh
EH2 2LL

Registered in Scotland. Company number SC145455

Launch date: 9 July 1993

Risk Warning
Risk warning
The value of investments and the income from them can go down as well as up and you may get back less than the amount invested. Please refer to the relevant Key Information Document (KID) prior to making an investment decision. Please be aware of scams that can affect investors.