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Investment Times

Best of British

| 18 January 2019 | A A A
Best of British

No recommendation

No news or research item is a personal recommendation to deal. All investments can fall as well as rise in value so you could get back less than you invest.

Tennis at Wimbledon, The Beatles, roast dinners and a nice cup of tea.

These are just a few things Britain is well known for. But there’s more to the UK than sport, music and good cuisine.

Some of the world’s biggest and best known companies are based in the UK. From market giants like Unilever, Vodafone and BP, to innovative smaller businesses that are run by some of the brightest minds on the planet and set to grow rapidly.

The great thing is there’s a way to get access to this talent and potential in a single investment. The Unicorn Outstanding British Companies Fund is one of our favourites.

Chris Hutchinson, the fund’s manager, invests in companies he thinks are the very best in Britain.

What makes a company outstanding?

Outstanding companies should be leaders in their area of the market. Customer demand should be growing quickly for the type of product or service they sell. This means they’re more likely to keep competitors at bay, grow earnings consistently and make plenty of cash.

Importantly, these companies have to be easy to understand. It sounds obvious, but it’s surprising how complex businesses can get. Hutchinson avoids those that try to do too many things at once, or produce complicated financial statements. Instead it should be clear why they’ve been successful, and what their strategy is for the future.

Companies should have a talented team of people behind them. If they have a great track record of running a business, this makes Hutchinson more confident about their prospects.

Unicorn Outstanding British companies

There are only a handful of businesses that meet his high standards, so he invests in a small selection of around 30-40 companies. It means he has real conviction in every company and each one can have a significant impact on performance, though it increases risk.

Hutchinson also takes advantage of Unicorn’s pedigree in smaller company investing. He has the support of a talented team of investors, including assistant fund manager Max Ormiston. They look at companies of all sizes, but this fund has more in small and medium-sized companies than most UK funds. Smaller businesses can have heaps of potential. If he gets it right, the rewards can be huge and he’ll hold on to them as they grow into larger firms. There’s a greater chance of failure though, so investing in this area of the market increases risk.

How it's performed

So far the results have been exceptional. Since launch at the end of 2006, the fund’s grown 188% compared with 85% for the broad UK stock market. Past performance isn’t a guide to future returns though and the fund will go through tougher times too. All investments fall as well as rise in value, so you could get back less than you invest.

Unicorn Outstanding British Companies - performance since launch

Past performance is not a guide to the future. Source: *Lipper IM to 30/11/2018

Overall there’s a lot to like about this fund. It’s run by an experienced manager with a focused and disciplined investment approach, who’s prepared to think a little differently. He owns part of Unicorn’s fund management business, so he’s well-incentivised to perform.

Some of the world’s biggest and best known companies are based in the UK. From market giants like Unilever, Vodafone and BP, to innovative smaller businesses that are run by some of the brightest minds on the planet and set to grow rapidly.

The fund is still relatively small in size. This matters because it makes the fund flexible and means the manager can build up new investments quicker than bigger funds.

The icing on the cake is the saving we’ve secured. The ongoing fund charge through us is 0.49% – this is a 42% saving on the standard charge of 0.84%. Our annual charge to hold funds of up to 0.45% also applies.

We’re excited to welcome this fund to the Wealth 50. It stands out from other UK growth funds and we think it has excellent long-term performance potential.

Annual percentage growth
Nov 2013 -
Nov 2014
Nov 2014 -
Nov 2015
Nov 2015 -
Nov 2016
Nov 2016 -
Nov 2017
Nov 2017 -
Nov 2018
Unicorn Outstanding British Companies -1.3% 19.1% 6.1% 13.5% -2.7%
FTSE All-Share 4.7% 0.6% 9.8% 13.4% -1.5%

Past performance is not a guide to the future. Source: Lipper IM to 30/11/2018

More about Unicorn Outstanding British Companies, including charges and how to invest

View Unicorn Outstanding British Companies key investor information

Unicorn Outstanding British Companies

See the new Wealth 50 list

Read on - how has the Wealth 150 performed?

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The value of investments can go down in value as well as up, so you could get back less than you invest. It is therefore important that you understand the risks and commitments. This website is not personal advice based on your circumstances. So you can make informed decisions for yourself we aim to provide you with the best information, best service and best prices. If you are unsure about the suitability of an investment please contact us for advice.