BMO Global Smaller Companies PLC

Peter Ewins

Director, Portfolio Manager, Global Small Cap

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The trust offers investor access to a broadly spread global smaller companies portfolio. The portfolio consists of individual smaller company investments within the US, UK and European markets, and fund holdings targeting smaller companies in Japan, Asia, Latin America and other smaller territories. The dividend of the Company has risen for 48 years in a row, benefiting from a growing income stream from the investment portfolio.

Past performance is not a guide to future performance.

Objectives

A diversified international portfolio of smaller cap equities

The aim of the BMO Global Smaller Companies Trust PLC is to generate a high total return by investing in smaller companies worldwide. It remains one of only a few investment trusts to offer investors access to a broadly spread global smaller companies portfolio. 

A global philosophy

The portfolio consists of individual smaller company investments within the US, UK and European markets, and third party fund holdings targeting smaller companies in Japan, Asia, Latin America and other smaller territories.

Our teams of smaller company specialist managers focus on fundamental analysis of the opportunities in the North American, UK and Continental European stock markets.

The teams focus is on meeting individual companies and assessing the quality of their management, their position in their targeted markets and their strategy for growth. Attention is also paid to each individual company’s financial strength and cash flow dynamics, which is particularly important given that smaller companies will tend to have less flexibility around funding options than larger companies. The aim is to invest in high quality companies at attractive prices, offering the potential to deliver strong returns, with an eye to minimising the risk profile of investment.

What are the risks of investing in smaller companies?

Being less mature and more focused, smaller companies are inherently more risky than larger companies. Share prices can therefore be more volatile. Other risks investors should consider include:
 
Compared with larger companies, smaller companies are not as diversified and can be more dependent on a limited number of key personnel.
 

Smaller companies may find it more difficult to access finance, particularly in times of recession
How do we manage risk?

We seek to reduce the risks associated with smaller companies by doing detailed analysis and by investing in a large number of stocks in various industry sectors and geographic areas. There are no specific sector or geographic exposure limits.
 
The fund manager can borrow in either sterling or foreign currencies. Otherwise known as ‘gearing’, this is limited to a maximum of 20% of shareholders’ funds.
 
The Trust’s board, with advice from the manager, considers the foreign exchange outlook, as this can affect both the asset allocation and borrowing strategy, and can protect the portfolio against currency movements.

Investment Risks

The value of your investments and any income from them can go down as well as up and you may not get back the original amount invested. Investments in smaller companies carry a higher degree of risk as their shares may be less liquid and investment values can be volatile. Gearing is used for investment purposes to obtain, increase or reduce exposure to an asset, index or investment. The use of gearing can enhance returns to investors in a rising market, but if the market falls the losses may be greater.

Fund Facts and Key Dates

Fund Facts
Investment manager BMO Investment Business Limited
Benchmark 30% Numis UK Smaller Companies (excluding investment companies) Index / 70% MSCI all country World ex UK Small Cap Index
AIC sector Global Growth
Launch date 1889
Total assets £873.7 million (as at 31.10.2018)
Currency Sterling
ISIN GB0000175058
SEDOL 0017505
Ticker symbol BGSC
Key Dates
Annual general meeting July
Year end 30 April
Dividends paid August and January
Results announced June (final) December (half yearly)

The Board

Anthony Townsend
Chairman
Anthony was appointed to the Board on 24 September 2004 and is also chairman of the nomination committee. He has spent over 45 years working in the City of London and was chairman of the Association of Investment companies from 2001 to 2003. He is chairman of Baronsmead Second Venture Trust PLC, Finsbury Growth & Income Trust PLC and Gresham House PLC.
Andrew Adcock
Independent Non-Executive Director
Andrew was appointed to the Board on 31 July 2007. He was, until mid-2009, vice chairman of Citigroup Corporate Finance and managing partner of Brompton Asset Management Limited until July 2011. Andrew has more than 30 years' experience in the City of London and is chairman of Majedie Investments PLC, VPC Speciality Lending Investments PLC, JPMorgan European Investment Trust PLC and Panmure Gordon & Co Ltd. He is also a non-executive director of Foxtons Group PLC.
Jo Dixon
Independent Non-Executive Director
Jo was appointed to the Board on 11 February 2015 and she is also chairman of the audit and management engagement committee. She has substantial investment trust board experience and is currently a non-executive director and chair of the audit committees of Strategic Equity Capital PLC, JPMorgan European Investment Trust PLC, Aberdeen Standard Equity Income Trust PLC (formerly Standard Life Equity Income Trust PLC) and BB Healthcare Trust PLC. She is also a non-executive director of Ventus VCT PLC.
David Stileman
Independent Non-Executive Director
David was appointed to the Board on 1 June 2015. He is an operating partner of Corsair Capital LLP, a member of the Advisory Boards of FTV Capital LLC and BizEquity LLC and a senior advisor at CamberView Partners LLC. He is chairman of The Garden Bridge Trading Company Ltd and Chichester Art Trust Limited. He is an executive director of Stileman Consulting Limited and an Honorary Trustee of the Royal Academy of Arts.
Anja Balfour
Independent Non-Executive Director
Anja was appointed to the board on 1 June 2015. She is a non-executive director of Schroder Japan Growth Fund PLC, Martin Curie Asia Unconstrained Trust and British Empire Trust, and sits on the board of mutual Scottish Friendly Assurance. Previously she spent over 20 years as a fund manager, running Japanese and International Equity Portfolios for Stewart Ivory, Baillie Gifford and latterly, Axa Framlington.
Jane Tozer
Senior Independent Non-Executive Director
Jane was appointed to the board on 13 June 2005. She is a non-executive director and senior independent director of StatPro PLC and a non-executive director of Nominet UK and Citizens Advice in Three Rivers Ltd. She is also a member of the Warwick Business School Advisory Board. She previously worked at IBM and then as CEO of a software development company.

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