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Artemis plans New Enterprises merger

Artemis is planning to merge its 26m New Enterprises fund into UK Special Situations.

The fund was launched in 2001 and sits in the Investment Management Association (IMAs) Technology and Telecommunications sector. It is managed by Lindsay Whitelaw and Andy Gray.

Nick Wells, the product and communications director at Artemis, says the funds British rather than global bias means there are limited investment opportunities and investor interest in technology has waned.

You are looking at a range of primarily small companies in the technology sector. We dont see that the appetite is there for investors. There were 30 funds in the sector in 2001 and today there are 10. Assets have dropped by 95%. We concluded that investors have gone elsewhere, he says.

The decisions to merge the fund into the 771m UK Special Situations fund, run by Derek Stuart, was taken because it already contains some of the same holdings as the technology vehicle.

Wells says gaining exposure to technology through UK Special Situations will be a better diversification play for investors. It will also be better value, as the total expense ratio (TER) will come down from 2.08% on New Enterprises to 1.58% on UK Special Situations.

Whitelaw and Gray will now concentrate on the groups venture capital trust (VCT) offering.

The merger is subject to shareholder and regulatory approval. Artemis is writing to investors this week outlining the plans.

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