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Hall makes As while the sun shines

Very few fund managers have been awarded an AAA rating by Standard & Poor’s, Citywire and Forsyth-OBSR. Mark Hall achieved this recently when S&P upgraded him from AA to AAA and named him the top FTSE All-Share fund manager over the past year.

Hall manages the Rensburg UK select growth trust, which is still comparatively small at under 300m and is therefore flexible enough to invest in small, profitable companies as well as big firms. Hall’s normal aim is to invest one-third each in large caps, mid-caps and smaller companies although recently he has taken profits on mid-caps and increased his exposure to the other two sectors.

Unlike a lot of other fund managers, if Hall cannot find stocks which are undervalued, he is prepared to keep cash amounts of up to 25 per cent.

The fund is the top performer in the S&P UK growth sector since its launch in September 2001 to October 1 this year. It should be held for at least three years as it sometimes takes time for profits to work through. Hall believes in a keeping concentrated portfolio of between 50 and 70 stocks and takes little notice of benchmarks. His sector spread is very wide but one area which has been particularly beneficial to him over the past two years has been real estate. At present, his bigger holdings include BP, GlaxoSmithKline, Vodafone and Shell but he also has substantial holdings in smaller companies such as Torex, the Grainger Trust and United Business Media.

Over the past three years to September 1, he has outperformed the FTSE All-Share index by over 35 per cent, being up by over 79 per cent. This is certainly a fund to strongly consider for all growth portfolios.

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