Fund group Gresham House has handed star recruit Ken Wotton a new UK small cap fund to run, after the manager joined as part of the swoop on Livingbridge's funds business last year.
Gresham House UK Smaller Companies soft-launched this month although the fund will not be marketed until next year when it has accumulated a 12-month track record.
The fund has been handed to Citywire AA-rated Wotton (pictured), who earned his rating as manager of the Livingbridge UK Micro Cap fund, now rebadged as a Gresham House fund.
Gresham House said the new fund would enable Wotton to invest in stocks that he has long tracked but had grown too big to feature in his micro-cap fund.
The portfolio will be ‘relatively concentrated’ with a total of 40 to 50 ‘companies that the research team have followed for a number of years but have grown beyond the desired scope of the micro-cap fund’, said Gresham House.
‘The focus is on capital growth, low turnover, high conviction [stocks].’
Companies featured in the portfolio will have a market cap of between £250 million and £1.25 billion, and there is likely to be some crossover with the micro cap fund.
Wotton's existing fund, which he runs with fellow AA-rated manager Brendan Gulston, has nearly two-thirds of its assets in companies with a market cap of less than £250 million, but around 29% of the portfolio is invested in those worth up to £1 billion.
Wotton and Gulston have delivered strong performance at the helm of the UK Micro Cap fund, and had enjoyed Citywire's top AAA rating for six consecutive months until February.
Over three years the fund has delivered 38.5%, placing firmly in the top half of the Investment Association's UK Smaller Companies sector.
Wotton and Gulston's newer Gresham House UK Multi Cap fund, has returned 10.6% since launch in June 2017, one of only two funds in the Investment Association's UK Equity Income sector to have delivered a double-digit return over that period.
Gresham House acquired both funds late last year, alongside Baronsmead venture capital trusts.
Gresham House is best known for its Gresham House Strategic (GHS) UK smaller companies investment trust, run by Tony Dalwood and Graham Bird, who were behind the launch of the Strategic Equity Capital (SEC) investment trust in 2005.