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Encounters of the third kind

One of my favourite fund managers is Nigel Thomas of Framlington. When he was with ABN Amro, the funds he managed were nearly always at the top of the performance tables. He is still performing very well even though he has occasional years of underperformance.

Over the past three years to November 25, his UK select opportunities fund has risen by 94.8 per cent – around 40 per cent higher than the UK all-companies sector. As a result, he has quite rightly regained his Citywire AAA rating. Unlike many fund managers, Thomas usually invests around a third of the fund in large caps, a third in mid caps and a third in small caps, although he is currently increasing his exposure to large-cap companies.

He particularly likes pharmaceuticals such as GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca and continues to stay clear of retailers and banks. He also likes some general industrial shares inclu- ding aerospace, engineer- ing and machinery, electronics and electrical equipment companies.

His biggest sector holdings are in resources, general industrials and cyclical services. His big- gest individual holdings include Rolls-Royce, BP, BOC, Rotork, Rexam and Megitt, as well as the big pharmaceutical companies. More than 30 per cent of his portfolio is still invested in smaller companies, with around a third of this in Aim shares.

He has an above-average amount in cash at 7.5 per cent, which is awaiting new investment opportunities.

I have been a follower of his for more than 10 years and recommend his fund be one of the top choices for portfolios investing in the UK growth sector.

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