Gartmore Investment Management is to launch a UK technology fund on 8 February run by its small cap ...
Gartmore Investment Management is to launch a UK technology fund on 8 February run by its small cap managers Gervais Williams and Frank Manduca.
Williams is manager of the UK & Irish Smaller Companies unit trust and Manduca runs UK Smaller Companies unit trust.
The portfolio is to be benchmarked against the FTSE techMARK 100 index. techMARK is the London Stock Exchange market for technology companies, which was established with a base value of 2,000 on 18 October 1999. The index reached a peak on the 18 January at 4,302 but had fallen back to about 3,800 by last Friday.
Some FTSE 100 companies included on the index include Sage, Misys and Logica all of which are FTSE 100 companies, Psion, QXL.com, Racal, Trafficmaster, Freeserve and the eXchange also feature. Imagination Technique, which supplies the graphics cast for the Sega Dreamcast, and is also a major holding in the top performing ABN Amro UK Growth fund, is a member of this index.
Williams and Manduca are responsible for two different areas within the small cap universe.
Whereas Manduca's fund is larger at £330m and he concentrates on the larger end of the small cap market, Williams has a fund of £100m and focuses on the smaller smalls.
Manduca currently holds 100 stocks but is cutting the number of holdings to below this level, while Williams has 120 holdings.
The Gartmore team already has experience of investing in technology stocks. The largest holding in the NatWest Smaller Companies investment trust, also run by Williams, is Cambridge Antibody Technology, which has risen by more than 116% in the last three weeks. This company is also listed on the techMARK index.
Commenting on the stock, Williams said: "There is more to technology than the current fashion for dot.com companies. Biotechnology companies, as well as information technology businesses, also offer investors the opportunity for superior returns. The smaller company team at Gartmore has been concentrating a substantial amount of investors' money on these industries for some time."
NatWest Smaller Companies is ranked 29 out of 31 companies over three years to 19 January, according to figures from S&P Micropal. Its return was 15.9%, compared to the sector average of 68.9%. Frank Manduca's fund, Gartmore UK Smaller Companies, is ranked 24 out of 68 with a return of 87.4% over the same period. The sector average was 81.3%.
This launch is the latest in a series of technology fund launches since the summer. Fidelity and Fleming Asset Management have brought out Luxembourg-based technology funds, and M&G unveiled its onshore Global Technology fund.
In addition, Close Brothers launched a techMARK index tracker.
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