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ASI Global Smaller Companies Class S - Accumulation (GBP)

Sell:121.60p Buy:121.60p Change: 1.90p (1.59%)
Prices as at 18 May 2022
Change: 1.90p (1.59%)
You can buy or sell holdings in this fund through a Stocks and Shares ISA, Lifetime ISA, SIPP or Fund and Share Account
Prices as at 18 May 2022
Change: 1.90p (1.59%)
Prices as at 18 May 2022
You can buy or sell holdings in this fund through a Stocks and Shares ISA, Lifetime ISA, SIPP or Fund and Share Account
The selling price currently displayed is higher than the buying price. This can occur temporarily for a variety of reasons; shortly before the market opens, after the market closes or because of extraordinary price volatility during the trading day.

Our view on this Fund

This fund is on the Wealth Shortlist of funds our analysts believe have the potential to outperform their peers over the long term. However, this is not a recommendation to buy.

In December 2021, veteran smaller companies' investor Harry Nimmo stepped back as co-manager of this fund. He's still part of the team though and he remains a passionate stock picker. This change enables him to dedicate more time to company research and analysis.

Kirsty Desson, the funds co-manager since February 2020, was promoted to lead manager. Her career began at Martin Currie in 2000 where she analysed companies in Asia and emerging markets. In 2012, she joined abrdn (which was then Standard Life) to focus on smaller companies within Asia, including Japan and emerging markets. Over this time, she's built analytical experience and been heavily involved in the funds success.

Fund managers come and go and its only natural to associate their departure with the potential for change. In this instance though, we don't expect much to change. Desson and Nimmo use the same investment philosophy and have worked together for the best part of a decade.

Our view on the sector

It's natural for UK investors to focus on funds investing in their home market. But as the world has become more connected, so has the investment landscape. There are lots of funds investing across the globe, and these can be a great way to diversify an investment portfolio. Funds in the global sector can invest anywhere in the world. But they go about this in different ways. They vary in how much they can invest in certain types of companies, sectors, countries, or regions. Some focus on developed markets or large multinational corporations, while others invest more in higher-risk emerging markets or smaller companies. Some target companies with higher-growth expectations and others search for unloved companies with the potential to recover.

Performance Analysis

Since the fund launched in January 2012, its delivered some impressive returns. Over this period, its outperformed the IA Global sector average and its benchmark. Remember past performance doesn't indicate future returns

Although the majority of this performance cannot be attributed to Desson, she's played an important role, particularly in Japan, Asia, and emerging markets. She's also managed a similar global smaller companies portfolio since early 2019, where we believe she's delivered growth primarily through her stock picking ability.

Given the focus on quality companies we expect the fund to hold up relatively well when markets fall. In contrast, we expect the fund to lag the peer group when markets rise quickly.

Investment Philosophy

Desson and her team hunt for companies around the world outside the usual candidates of large firms that dominate stock markets. They believe smaller companies have greater long-term growth potential and are relatively under-researched and so there's plenty of opportunity to uncover the larger companies of tomorrow.

The fund invests in smaller companies, although those in the fund tend to be larger than the average company in the benchmark. However, this is higher risk than investing in large companies.

Process and Portfolio Construction

Hunting for sustainable growth over the long term means the team doesn't invest in more economically sensitive parts of the market like energy or real estate. Their focus on quality leads them to companies with strong balance sheets and good management teams whilst avoiding those that are highly indebted or loss making. Momentum is also important, which means the team likes to run their winners and cut their losers.

To identify these attributes, they use a quantitative tool called the 'matrix' which whittles down the universe of over 6,000 companies. The matrix output is continually reviewed, and the most attractive opportunities receive further analysis and team debate. They focus on the data for individual companies, rather than broader economic views.

This results in a fund of between 40 to 80 companies. Around half the fund is invested in the US, although this is less than the global stock market. In contrast, they invest more than the stock market in European countries such as the UK, Italy, and Germany. The managers also invest in higher-risk emerging markets and can use derivatives, which if used adds risk.

question mark Manager Track Record Based on HL Quantitative Research

  • ASI Global Smaller Companies...
  • IA Global

Fund Track Record

20/05/17 to 20/05/18 20/05/18 to 20/05/19 20/05/19 to 20/05/20 20/05/20 to 20/05/21 20/05/21 to 20/05/22
Annual return 27.19% 0.83% 0.09% 32.11% -17.57%

Please remember past performance is not a guide to future returns. Where no data is shown, figures are not available. This information is provided to help you choose your own investments, remember they can fall as well as rise in value so you may not get back the original amount invested.

Fund Management Group Comment

Standard Life, headquartered in Edinburgh and a member of the FTSE 100 index, was established in 1825, and is a provider of long term savings and investments. In the 1990s the group sought to diversify its operations into areas to complement its core life assurance and pensions business. Standard Life Investments began to offer retail investment products to investors in 1995 with the launch of its mutual fund range, and now spans equities, bonds, real estate, multi-asset and absolute return.

While Standard Life has traditionally been well known for its fixed interest funds, it is now gaining recognition for its range of equity and absolute return funds.

Information about the fund

Fund manager biography

Manager Name: Kirsty Desson
Manager start date: 25 February 2020
Manager located in: Edinburgh

Kirsty has been at Standard Life Investments for 4 years, and has 12 years' experience in the industry. Kirsty joined Martin Currie (Investment Management) as a graduate trainee in 2000 specialising in Asia and Emerging Markets. She gained an MA (Hons) in French, from St Andrews University and holds the IMC qualification and has been involved in the Fund for 4 years, researching and analysing new and existing ideas, with a focus on Asia, Emerging Markets, and Japan.

Data policy - All information should be used for indicative purposes only. You should independently check data before making any investment decision. HL cannot guarantee that the data is accurate or complete, and accepts no responsibility for how it may be used. Benchmark data provided subject to this disclaimer.
You can buy or sell holdings in this fund through a Stocks and Shares ISA, Lifetime ISA, SIPP or Fund and Share Account