BMO Global Smaller Companies PLC

Peter Ewins

Director, Portfolio Manager, Global Small Cap

Peter Ewins is a Director and Portfolio Manager in the Global Small Cap Equity team. He joined the Group in 1996. Prior to this, he worked for Municipal Mutual Insurance and Commercial Union Insurance (1989-93) and ESN Pension Management (1994-96). Peter has a BA (Hons) in Economics and Statistics from the University of Exeter and is a member of the CFA Society of the UK.

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 49 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
£1,079.1 million (as at 30.07.2021)
Currency
Sterling
ISIN
GB00BKLXD974
SEDOL
BKLXD97
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)

Sustainability and ESG

Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”) issues are the three central factors in measuring sustainability and can present both opportunities and threats to the long-term investment performance the Company aims to deliver to Shareholders. The Board is therefore committed to taking a responsible approach to ESG matters. There are two strands to this approach. The Company’s own responsibilities on matters such as governance and the impact it has through the investments that are made on its behalf by its Manager.

Find out more about our approach to sustainability and ESG issues here

The Board

Anja Balfour

Chairman

Anja was appointed to the board on 1 June 2015. She is chairman of Schroder Japan Growth Fund PLC, a non executive director of AVI Global Trust (formerly 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.

Graham Oldroyd

Independent Non-Executive Director

Graham was appointed to the Board on 1 October 2019. He is currently a non-executive director of Nobina AB, Sweden. He is a non-executive director and chairman of Ideal Standard International NV and a non-executive director of phs Group Investments Ltd. He is a Church of England Commissioner, and a member of the Church Commissioners' Fund Assets Committee.

Jo Dixon

Senior Independent 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 of Ventus VCT PLC as well as a non-executive director and chair of the audit committees of Strategic Equity Capital PLC, BB Healthcare Trust PLC and Alliance Trust PLC. She is also chairman of JP Morgan European Investment Trust 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. He is chairman of Chichester Art Trust Limited and National Open Art. He is an executive director of Stileman Consulting Limited and an Honorary Trustee of the Royal Academy of Arts.

Nick Bannerman

Independent Non-Executive Director

Nick was appointed to the Board on 1 October 2019. He is Global Sales Director and Managing Director (Hawick) of Johnstons of Elgin.

How to invest

Invest with BMO

BMO offer a range of cost-effective savings plans designed to make it easy for you to invest in our range of funds.

Starting from £25 per month or a lump sum of £100, with the flexibility to start and stop contributions whenever you want.

There are no dealing charges on investments made online or through a monthly direct debit.

Invest with a broker

You can invest through your usual financial adviser, or through a wide range of companies.

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