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Fundsmith tops £800m for investment trust launch

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Fundsmith has raised more than £800m for the launch of its new investment trust, Smithson.

Trading for the new vehicle overseen by star manager Terry Smith, who put £25m of his own cash into the project, is expected to go live on Friday.

Fundsmith plans to target smaller and mid cap opportunities with the investment trust, which has also seen staff at the wider firm put millions of their own money behind the fund.

The initial public offering will see more than 82 million shares in the trust placed at £10 per ordinary share.

The trust has applied to be admitted to the main market of the London Stock Exchange after upping its original target of £250m to £600m earlier this month, before surpassing that too.

It originally predicted a placing of 25 million shares, before raising that to 35 million, but has now more than doubled that figure.

Smith retains oversight of the fund, but it will be managed on a day-to-day basis by a team led by Simon Barnard as investment manager and Will Morgan as assistant investment manager.

Smith says:  “Our thesis that many of the existing small and mid cap funds in the market are anachronistic by being overly home biased and that there was a gap for a quality small and mid cap global equity fund appears to have been borne out by a wide range of investors subscribing for the Smithson offer.

“Our innovative step to absorb all the issue costs as the investment manager has helped to remove the concern that investors participating in the IPO would be subject to an initial loss from these costs.”

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