The new lead manager on the £82.8m Invesco Perpetual UK Smaller Companies investment trust is lookin...
The new lead manager on the £82.8m Invesco Perpetual UK Smaller Companies investment trust is looking to reduce the number of holdings from 220 to around 160, writes Robert Stock.
Mark Niznik took over the heavily diversified portfolio at the start of June from John Sweet, whose departure has been flagged in a consumer report by Hargreaves Lansdown as one of four concerns the broker has about Invesco Perpetual.
As well as trimming the portfolio, Niznik is looking to recruit a junior fund manager with several years' experience as an assistant in the management of the trust.
In the report, Mark Dampier, head of research at Hargreaves, said: 'We feel that the retirement from Invesco of John Sweet was a real loss. He is a very experienced pair of hands in the smaller companies market, which is a notoriously volatile area where you need to have long experience and a cool mind.'
Niznik has worked with Sweet, who leaves the group in August, since he arrived at Perpetual in 1993 from Greig Middleton, where he was responsible for the management of discretionary private client funds and smaller companies research. In 1996 he was named Joint UK Specialist Fund Manager of the Year, along with John Sweet, by Investment Week.
Niznik said: 'We have been meeting with some of the larger shareholders in the trust and the message we have been giving is one of continuity.'
Discussing his plans for the number of stocks in the portfolio, Niznik said: 'I won't be cutting holdings just for the sake of it. I will look at each one very carefully before making any decisions.'
Currently, the portfolio, which Niznik describes as a cautious smaller companies offering run on a bottom-up basis, is overweight in aerospace and defence, overweight building and construction and underweight in technology, telecommunications and financials.www.ifaonline.co.uk
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