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The fund aims to provide capital growth through investment in UK smaller companies. The focus is predominantly on companies with market value in excess of £100 million, although the portfolio will have some allocation to companies with sub £100 million market capitalisation as well as larger stocks within the smaller companies’ universe, those with capitalisation in excess of £750 million.

The new manager, Henry Lowson took over the fund in 2012 and has now built the track record. The manager benefits from his experienced colleagues at AXA – Nigel Thomas and Chris St John, the respective managers on AXA Select Opportunities and AXA Mid Cap funds. Both funds are highly rated by Tilney Bestinvest.

The investment process combines some top-down sector analysis and identification of key investment themes, including cyclical and industry trends, economic cycle, interest rates and currency fluctuations, which are combined with bottom-up stock selection. The manager favours quality growth companies with an emphasis on losing the “least” on the downside. Portfolio companies will typically have experienced management teams able to grow their businesses over the medium-term, companies with pricing power, high barriers to entry and diverse customer base. Lowson applies a valuation overlay, screening on earnings and yield growth, dividend growth, free cash flow and return on equity factors.

Historically, the fund has demonstrated relatively low volatility compared to its peer group and has offered relative protection during market downturns. The portfolio will typically include between 70 and 90 companies, with annual turnover of around 30%.

Tilney Bestinvest has assigned a three star rating to the AXA Framlington UK Smaller Companies fund. This fund will appear on our Top-Rated Funds’ list.

Different funds carry varying levels of risk depending on the geographical region and industry sector in which they invest. You should make yourself aware of these specific risks prior to investing. If you are unsure about the suitability of an investment or if you need advice on your specific requirements, we strongly suggest that you consider professional financial advice.

The value of investments, and the income derived from them, can go down as well as up and you can get back less than you originally invested. Prevailing tax rates and reliefs are dependent on your individual circumstances and are subject to change.