BlackRock UK Smaller Companies A

A diversified UK small cap portfolio investing in companies under £1bn.

  • 916.60p
    Price (Inc)

    These are the shares in the fund that pay out an income to clients. The income is made up of the total dividends – the money a company can pay out to its investors – from the companies in the fund.

  • 1204.00p
    Price (Acc)

    These are the shares in the fund that don’t pay out an income to clients. Any dividends – the money a company can pay out to its investors – are reinvested into companies in the fund. Despite no income, the shares should be worth more over time. Good incentive, eh?

  • 5.00% 0.00%

    Initial charge

    Some funds charge you when you first invest, which is aptly known as the initial charge. They’re usually between 3-5% but at Bestinvest, we usually don’t charge you a penny!

  • 1.50%
    Annual management charge

    This is how much the fund management company charges to run the fund. It’s like paying a babysitter, dog sitter or house sitter (that makes well-informed, heavily researched changes to improve your baby/dog/house when needed).

  • 1.67%
    Ongoing charges

    This stands for Ongoing Charges Figure. It’s the cost of running a fund and includes admin fees, manager fees, administration costs, etc.

  • 0.50%
    Yield

    How much the fund is currently paying out in income to investors. It’s NOT to be confused with the overall growth of a fund – a very different thing indeed. It’s also NOT a guarantee of future pay-outs, just a snapshot. This is more what it’s not than what it is…

Prices as at 21 January 2020, fund data last updated 01 October 2003

The investment process focuses on small profitable companies that are cashflow positive and offer double digit growth prospects. Consequently, the manager's style might best be described as growth, however recovery or value situations may also appear in the portfolio depending on the stage of the business cycle. The fund's reference benchmark is the Numis Smaller Cos Index, excluding investment trusts but including AiM.

Fund summary

Sector UK Smaller Companies
Structure UNIT TRUST
Launched May, 1987
Size £471m
Yield 0.50%
Charging basis Income
Dividends paid 25 Apr, 25 Oct

Charges

Standard initial charge 5.00%
Initial charge via Bestinvest 0.00%
Additional bid/offer spread 1.04%
Annual management charge 1.50%
Ongoing charges figure 1.67%

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Investment process

The BlackRock small cap team do not view themselves as contrarian investors, instead they generally prefer businesses that can demonstrate operational momentum, however they do consider themselves as contrarian investors with regard to share price momentum. Traditional value type plays may be held in the portfolio at the early stage of the business cycle. Approximately 75% of the fund will consist of high quality core positions with the balance made up of more risky non core positions. Criteria for core holdings include, a quality management team, strong market position, positive cashflow (with a free cash flow yield at least be equivalent to gilts), a strong balance sheet (i.e. a net cash position), EPS growth track record together, short term operational momentum. Core portfolio positions will satisfy all these criteria and account for approx 75% by value. Non core portfolio positions generally fail to meet one of these criteria. Companies will be under a market cap of £1bn at the time of initial investment.

Manager research

Average monthly relative returns

  • 15/16 0.00%
  • 16/17 0.24%
  • 17/18 0.57%
  • 18/19 0.95%
  • 19/20 -0.07%

Bestinvest MRI

  • 3 years 0.49%
  • 5 years 0.00%
  • Career 0.47%
  • 3 years 97.40%
  • 5 years 0.00%
  • Career 99.60%

Performance figures are based on the average of monthly percentage returns relative to the benchmark index.

Roland Arnold

Arnold, Director and Portfolio Manager,is a member of the UK Equity team in the Fundamental Equity division of BlackRock's Alpha Strategies Group. His chief responsibility is managing small and mid cap UK equity portfolios, with a sector emphasis on Technology. Arnold's service with the firm dates back to 2000, including his years with Merrill Lynch Investment Managers (MLIM), which merged with BlackRock in 2006. He worked at a UK retail bank as a performance and credit analyst prior to joining MLIM in 2000. In 1998, Arnold earned a BA (Hons) in Economics and Management.

Track record

Roland Arnold has 4.6 years experience of managing mutual funds in this sector. Over this period the average monthly return relative to the benchmark index has been +0.47%. During the worst period of relative performance (from July 2018 - February 2019) there was a decline of 9% relative to the index. The worst absolute loss has been 20%. Statistically, we estimate the probability that this fund manager is adding value, rather than being lucky, is more than 99%.

Periods of worst performance

Absolute -20.00% (July 2018 - December 2018)
Relative -9.00% (July 2018 - February 2019)

About the MRI

Our unique indicator: the Bestinvest Manager Record Index (MRI) measures the likelihood that the fund manager is adding value through their decisions. It is based on their performance record over the course of their career, adjusted for the amount of risk taken. MRI is an important contributor to our fund rating system but it is also vital to take account of qualitative factors. It is also very important to select funds to form a cohesive portfolio with an appropriate overall risk level.

Allocation

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Top 10 holdings

Data accurate as at 30 November 2019

2.7749%4 imprint Group Plc
2.6465% Yougov
2.0927% Integrafin Holdings Plc
1.9863% Fuller Smith & Turner
1.8795% Watches Of Switzerland Group Plc
1.8747% Workspace Group Plc
1.8267% Sirius Real Estate Ltd Ord Npv
1.7117% Johnson Service Group Plc
1.685% Qinetiq Group
1.6716% Oxford Instruments Plc
Source: Trustnet

Sector breakdown

Industrials 31.00%
Consumer Services 21.00%
Financials 19.00%
Consumer Goods 9.00%
Health Care 5.00%
Technology 5.00%
Basic Materials 4.00%
Oil & Gas 4.00%
Telecommunications 1.00%

Portfolio

Approx 100 stocks. Core holdings 2% maximum, non core holdings 1% maximum. No formal sector constraints. Fund is usually invested 1/3 each in mid caps, ftse small cap+fledgling companies and AIM listed companies. In exceptional circumstances companies can be held up until admittance into the FTSE 100.

Key Investor Information - Income

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Key Investor Information - Accumulation

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