Peter Ewins is a Director and Portfolio Manager in the Global Small Cap Equity team. He joined Columbia Threadneedle through the acquisition of BMO GAM (EMEA) in 2021, having previously been with BMO (and its predecessor companies) since 1996. Prior to this, he worked for Municipal Mutual Insurance and Commercial Union Insurance (1989-93) and ESN Pension Management (1994-96). Peter has a BA (Hons) in Economics and Statistics from the University of Exeter and is a member of the CFA Society of the UK.
The trust offers investor access to a broadly spread global smaller companies portfolio. The portfolio consists of individual smaller company investments within the US, UK and European markets, and fund holdings targeting smaller companies in Japan, Asia, Latin America and other smaller territories. The dividend of the Company has risen for 49 years in a row, benefiting from a growing income stream from the investment portfolio.
Past performance is not a guide to future performance.
A diversified international portfolio of smaller cap equities
The aim of the The Global Smaller Companies Trust PLC is to generate a high total return by investing in smaller companies worldwide. It remains one of only a few investment trusts to offer investors access to a broadly spread global smaller companies portfolio.
A global philosophy
Our teams of smaller company specialist managers focus on fundamental analysis of the opportunities in the North American, UK and Continental European stock markets.
The teams focus is on meeting individual companies and assessing the quality of their management, their position in their targeted markets and their strategy for growth. Attention is also paid to each individual company’s financial strength and cash flow dynamics, which is particularly important given that smaller companies will tend to have less flexibility around funding options than larger companies. The aim is to invest in high quality companies at attractive prices, offering the potential to deliver strong returns, with an eye to minimising the risk profile of investment.
What are the risks of investing in smaller companies?
Compared with larger companies, smaller companies are not as diversified and can be more dependent on a limited number of key personnel.
Smaller companies may find it more difficult to access finance, particularly in times of recession. How do we manage risk?
The fund manager can borrow in either sterling or foreign currencies. Otherwise known as ‘gearing’, this is limited to a maximum of 20% of shareholders’ funds.
The Trust’s board, with advice from the manager, considers the foreign exchange outlook, as this can affect both the asset allocation and borrowing strategy, and can protect the portfolio against currency movements.
The value of your investments and any income from them can go down as well as up and you may not get back the original amount invested. Investments in smaller companies carry a higher degree of risk as their shares may be less liquid and investment values can be volatile. Gearing is used for investment purposes to obtain, increase or reduce exposure to an asset, index or investment. The use of gearing can enhance returns to investors in a rising market, but if the market falls the losses may be greater.
Fund Facts and Key Dates
Columbia Threadneedle Investment Business Limited
30% Numis UK Smaller Companies (excluding investment companies) Index / 70% MSCI all country World ex UK Small Cap Index
£976.9m (as at 31.05.22)
Annual general meeting
August and January
June (final) December (half yearly)
Sustainability and ESG
Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”) issues are the three central factors in measuring sustainability and can present both opportunities and threats to the long-term investment performance the Company aims to deliver to Shareholders. The Board is therefore committed to taking a responsible approach to ESG matters. There are two strands to this approach. The Company’s own responsibilities on matters such as governance and the impact it has through the investments that are made on its behalf by its Manager.
Anja was appointed to the board on 1 June 2015. She is chairman of Schroder Japan Growth Fund PLC, a non executive director of AVI Global Trust (formerly British Empire Trust) and sits on the board of mutual Scottish Friendly Assurance. Previously she spent over 20 years as a fund manager, running Japanese and International Equity Portfolios for Stewart Ivory, Baillie Gifford and latterly, Axa Framlington.
Graham was appointed to the Board on 1 October 2019. He is currently a non-executive director and chairman of Ideal Standard International NV and a non-executive director of PHS Group Investments Limited. He is a Church of England Commissioner, and a member of the Church Commissioners’ Fund Assets Committee.
Jo was appointed to the Board on 11 February 2015 and she is also chairman of the audit and management engagement committee. She has substantial investment trust board experience and is currently a non-executive director of Ventus VCT PLC as well as a non-executive director and chair of the audit committees of Strategic Equity Capital PLC, BB Healthcare Trust PLC and Alliance Trust PLC. She is also chairman of JPMorgan European Growth & Income PLC.
David was appointed to the Board on 1 June 2015. He is an operating partner of Corsair Capital LLP. He is chairman of Chichester Art Trust Limited and National Open Art. He is an executive director of Stileman Consulting Limited and an Honorary Trustee of the Royal Academy of Arts.
Nick was appointed to the Board on 1 October 2019. He is Global Sales Director and Managing Director (Hawick) of Johnstons of Elgin.
How to invest
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