Marlborough Special Situations P

A UK small and mid cap equity fund with a large exposure to AiM listed securities.

  • 2533.29p
    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.

  • -
    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?

  • 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!

  • 0.75%
    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).

  • 0.80%
    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.

  • 0.20%

    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 14 June 2021, fund data last updated 13 April 2012

The objective of the fund is to provide investors with capital growth by investing in smaller companies, new issues and companies going through a difficult period with good recovery prospects. The portfolio has an unusually large number of holdings reflecting its bias to the smaller companies and in particular AiM stocks, some FTSE 250 companies will also be included. Stock selection is primarily bottom-up with a growth bias. Smaller companies’ shares can be more volatile and less liquid than larger company shares, so smaller companies funds can carry more risk.

Fund summary

Sector UK Smaller Companies
Structure UNIT TRUST
Launched December, 2012
Size £1,640m
Yield 0.20%
Charging basis Income
Dividends paid Acc units only


Standard initial charge 0.00%
Initial charge via Bestinvest 0.00%
Additional bid/offer spread 0.00%
Annual management charge 0.75%
Ongoing charges figure 0.80%


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Investment process

The investment process is bottom up driven with a bias towards growth stocks. The team review the macroeconomic environment monthly and at times the portfolio may have some thematic orientation, including modest style tilts. The investment universe is diverse and spans the FTSE Small Cap and FTSE Fledgling indices, the AiM market, and smaller FTSE 250 companies. Ideas are generated internally by the extensive research resources, via the broker community and through other external contacts. Hargreave is supported by a team of 8 - the size of the team enables him to monitor a large percentage of the small cap universe. The team carry out all their own research on companies, which includes analysis of financial statements and meeting with company management. Hargreave controls all final investment decisions.

Manager research

Average monthly relative returns

  • 16/17 0.40%
  • 17/18 0.90%
  • 18/19 0.45%
  • 19/20 0.85%
  • 20/21 0.99%

Bestinvest MRI

  • 3 years 0.76%
  • 5 years 0.72%
  • Career 0.86%
  • 3 years 99.80%
  • 5 years 100.00%
  • Career 100.00%

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

Giles Hargreave

Hargreave was born in Preston, Lancashire in 1948 and is chairman of Hargreave Hale Ltd. He began his career in investments after leaving Cambridge University in 1969, joining James Capel as an analyst. He joined Management Agency and Music as a private fund manager in 1974, before forming his own investment management business, Hargreave Investment Management, in 1986. In 1988 he merged Hargreave Investment Management with Hargreave Hale & Co, a provincial stockbroking firm controlled by other members of his family.

Track record

Giles Hargreave has 22.8 years experience of managing mutual funds in this sector. Over this period the average monthly return relative to the benchmark index has been +0.86%. During the worst period of relative performance (from March 2000 - May 2000) there was a decline of 19% relative to the index. The worst absolute loss has been 47%. 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 -47.00% (May 2007 - November 2008)
Relative -19.00% (March 2000 - May 2000)

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 July 2020

3.4959% S4 Capital Plc
3.0928% Sca Investments Ltd
2.1997% Cvs Group Plc
2.0906% Xp Power Ltd
2.0324% Games Workshop Group
2.0238% Spirent Communications
1.9896% Globaldata Plc
1.8935% Caretech Hldgs Plc
1.8886% Creo Medical Group Plc
1.8876% Genus Plc
Source: Trustnet

Sector breakdown

Consumer Discretionary 31.00%
Industrials 20.00%
Health Care 10.00%
Technology 10.00%
Consumer Staples 7.00%
Real Estate 6.00%
Basic Materials 5.00%
Others 4.00%
Telecommunications 3.00%
Financials 3.00%


Number of positions >200. Around one-third of the portfolio is kept within liquid issues. The portfolio may also carry a strong bias to AiM listed companies. Cash and property may be used as a defensive measure.


Position sizes are typically below 2%, never more than 3%. The focus is on companies with a market cap of >£100m.

Key Investor Information