Franklin UK Smaller Companies A

A more focused, high conviction UK smaller companies portfolio.

  • 1187.99p Price (Inc)
  • - Price (Acc)
  • 4.50% 0.00% Initial charge
  • 1.50% Annual management charge
  • 1.58% Ongoing charges
  • 0.60% Yield

Prices as at 10 December 2019, fund data last updated 25 April 2018

This a more focused UK small-cap fund investing in companies from the Numis Smaller Companies index including AiM, i.e. the bottom 10% of the UK stockmarket by value. Managers Paul Spencer and Richard Bullas aim to achieve capital growth exceeding that of the index over the medium to long term (meaning 3-5 years). The managers have no deliberate style bias, running the mandate using a combination of quality growth, cyclical recovery and value approaches.

Fund summary

Sector UK Smaller Companies
Structure OEIC
Launched October, 2011
Size £308m
Yield 0.60%
Charging basis Income
Dividends paid May, Nov

Charges

Standard initial charge 4.50%
Initial charge via Bestinvest 0.00%
Additional bid/offer spread 0.00%
Annual management charge 1.50%
Ongoing charges figure 1.58%

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Investment process

At least 80% of the portfolio will be invested in companies with a market cap of between £100m to £1.5bn. A top down perspective on the macro environment guides the stock selection process. The managers favour established quality companies, the emphasis being on business risk (sustainability of earnings), balance sheet risk (avoiding meltdowns) and management risk (delivery of strategy). Though quality is important, valuation is paramount and the managers assess both upside and downside with EV to EBITDA being the preferred metric. The final portfolio will consist of three types of companies: - Quality growth (40%). Structural growth companies with a strong market position and a record of delivery; - Cyclical & Recovery (40%). Good quality companies, well-managed but going through a challenging period and well-placed to benefit from self-help or end market recovery; - Undervalued and overlooked (20%). Companies whose valuation doesn’t reflect company strength or profit potential.

The fund underwent a significant restructuring following the appointment of Spencer and Bullas in 2012, and is now run using the same investment process employed by Spencer on the Franklin UK Mid Cap fund from 2006. Since their appointment they have replicated the success of the Mid Cap fund, rewarding investors with performance significantly in excess of the index. Performance can be volatile, however. The fund has the advantage of being a relatively small offering (£308m AUM as of September 2018) enabling the managers to be more nimble relative to many of their peers.

Manager research

Average monthly relative returns

  • 14/15 0.78%
  • 15/16 -0.35%
  • 16/17 0.35%
  • 17/18 0.81%
  • 18/19 -0.10%

Bestinvest MRI

  • 3 years 0.35%
  • 5 years 0.30%
  • Career 0.26%
  • 3 years 91.30%
  • 5 years 93.80%
  • Career 95.90%

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

Paul Spencer / Richard Bullas

Paul Spencer is a member of the Franklin UK Equity Team, specialising in UK mid-cap equity analysis and investment. He joined Franklin Templeton Investments when it acquired Rensburg Fund Management in January 2011. He started his investment career in 1987 with BWD Rensburg, progressing to head of research before leaving in 1995 to join Granville Davies Limited as a director and small and mid cap analyst. In 1999 he joined TD Waterhouse, where he was head of research, specialising in small and mid cap investment analysis. He returned to Rensburg in 2006. He holds a BA (Hons) in Economics from Nottingham University and is a Fellow of the Securities Institute (FSI) Richard Bullas joined Rensburg Fund Management in 2000, In 2006 he was made Fund Manager and Associate Director and he co-managed two UK Institutional Mandates as becoming deputy fund manager on the Franklin UK Select Growth Trust and Franklin UK Manager’s Focus Fund. Prior to joining Rensburg Bullas worked at Aviva as a Market Analyst in the life and pensions department. Previously he spent a short time working at a Chartered Accountants for the Audit Team. He holds a BSc (Hons) degree in Business and Management Studies from Bradford University School of Management, graduating in 1998.

Track record

Paul Spencer / Richard Bullas has 7.3 years experience of managing mutual funds in this sector. Over this period the average monthly return relative to the benchmark index has been +0.26%. During the worst period of relative performance (from December 2015 - July 2016) there was a decline of 11% relative to the index. The worst absolute loss has been 19%. Statistically, we estimate the probability that this fund manager is adding value, rather than being lucky, is 96%.

Periods of worst performance

Absolute -19.00% (June 2018 - December 2018)
Relative -11.00% (December 2015 - July 2016)

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.

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Top 10 holdings

Data accurate as at 31 August 2019

4.17% Entertainment One Ltd
4.13% Restore Plc
3.92% Discoverie Group Plc
3.9% Vitec Group Plc (The)
3.41% Rws Hldgs
3.17% Jtc Plc
3.01% Tt Electronics
2.63% Londonmetric Property Plc
2.58% Spirent Communications
2.45% Robert Walters
Source: Trustnet

Sector breakdown

Industrials 45.00%
Financials 16.00%
Consumer Goods 11.00%
Consumer Services 9.00%
Technology 9.00%
Cash & Cash Equivalents 4.00%
Health Care 4.00%
Basic Materials 2.00%

Portfolio

40-50 stocks. Position size 1.5-5%.

Constraints

No sector limits but tends to avoid large sector bets.

Key Investor Information

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