BlackRock UK Special Situations A

A multi-cap UK equity fund with a bias to mid cap and smaller companies.

  • 2854.00p
    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.

  • 5141.00p
    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).

  • 1.66%
    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.

  • 1.10%
    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 20 January 2020, fund data last updated 09 November 2015

The fund targets long-term capital growth from a portfolio of UK equities. This is a relatively unconstrained portfolio run by BlackRock’s UK equity team; co-managers Roland Arnold and Luke Chappell will always have at least 50% invested in small and mid cap, with a focus on quality growth companies. They will also include FTSE 100 stocks, often value opportunities or businesses operating in areas not typically available in the small and mid cap universe such as oil and mining companies.

Fund summary

Sector UK All Companies
Structure UNIT TRUST
Launched March, 1981
Size £634m
Yield 1.10%
Charging basis Income
Dividends paid 20 Jun, 20 Dec

Charges

Standard initial charge 5.00%
Initial charge via Bestinvest 0.00%
Additional bid/offer spread 0.73%
Annual management charge 1.50%
Ongoing charges figure 1.66%

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Investment process

The fund invests across the entire UK equity market including AiM, but has a structural bias to medium and small sized companies. Co-managers Roland Arnold and Luke Chappell maintain a growth emphasis to their stock picking ie. preferring businesses growing faster than the market average, and believe these are more commonly found amongst smaller companies. FTSE 100 companies tend to be owned where growth stories are not represented in small / mid caps e.g. cash generative resource companies, where compelling value opportunities exist, or for risk control. 80% of research is internal, with the UK small/mid cap team carrying out around 700 company meetings a year. They look for companies with the following characteristics: high quality management; strong market position with barriers to entry; strong cash generation; a track record of consistent growth (or a catalyst for change) and a strong balance sheet. The process is primarily bottom up, which sometimes leads to sector views in which case they will be confirmed with the BlackRock strategy team.

We suspended our buy rating on this fund following the announcement of manager Richard Plackett’s retirement in 2015. His replacements are his co-manager Roland Arnold and BlackRock UK Focus manager Luke Chappell. Whilst both Chappell and Arnold bring positive attributes to the portfolio's management, we have applied a one star (switch) rating to the fund due to the availability of higher conviction alternatives in the sector.

Manager research

Average monthly relative returns

  • 15/16 0.00%
  • 16/17 -0.33%
  • 17/18 0.46%
  • 18/19 0.22%
  • 19/20 -0.08%

Bestinvest MRI

  • 3 years 0.20%
  • 5 years 0.00%
  • Career 0.08%
  • 3 years 86.20%
  • 5 years 0.00%
  • Career 75.80%

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

Luke Chappell / Roland Arnold

Chappell is head of BlackRock’s UK Focus Team and is responsible for covering the media sector. He joined BlackRock following the merger with Merrill Lynch Investment Managers (MLIM) in 2006. He worked at another investment management house prior to joining MLIM in 1998, where he worked in both a range or research roles and in fund management. In 1990, Chappell earned a MA (Hons) degree in Classics from Christ Church, Oxford University. Arnold is a member of the UK Equity team whose chief responsibility is managing small and mid cap UK equity portfolios, with a sector emphasis on Technology. His service with the firm dates back to 2000, including his years with Merrill Lynch Investment Managers (MLIM). 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

Luke Chappell / Roland Arnold has 4.2 years experience of managing mutual funds in this sector. Over this period the average monthly return relative to the benchmark index has been +0.08%. During the worst period of relative performance (from August 2018 - November 2018) there was a decline of 8% relative to the index. The worst absolute loss has been 18%. Statistically, we estimate the probability that this fund manager is adding value, rather than being lucky, is 76%.

Periods of worst performance

Absolute -18.00% (July 2018 - December 2018)
Relative -8.00% (August 2018 - November 2018)

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

4.1064% Rio Tinto
3.6957% Royal Dutch Shell
3.5455% Relx Plc
2.5755% Workspace Group Plc
2.5303% Standard Chartered
2.3565% Prudential Plc
2.3521% Wh Smith Plc
2.1681% London Stock Exchange Group
1.9778% Qinetiq Group
1.9189% Next
Source: Trustnet

Sector breakdown

Consumer Services 26.00%
Industrials 24.00%
Financials 22.00%
Oil & Gas 8.00%
Consumer Goods 6.00%
Basic Materials 5.00%
Money Market 4.00%
Health Care 3.00%
Technology 1.00%
Telecommunications 1.00%

Portfolio

60-80 stocks. Large cap positions tend to be more actively traded. At least 50% invested in mid / small sized companies.

Constraints

Max 5% in FTSE 100 stocks, max 3% in FTSE 250 and small cap stocks. No formal sector constraints.

Key Investor Information - Income

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Key Investor Information - Accumulation

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