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Julian Gibbs

Colin MacLean, Scotland&#39s globally recognised fund management guru, and his top team of analysts at SVM Asset Management have gone retail for the first time with three new Oeics.

The one I like best is the UK ppportunities fund which is managed by David Stevenson, who works closely with MacLean and the other fund managers. He trained as a chartered account with Peat Marwick and joined SVM in 1994.

He has established an outstanding track record in UK equity management with his offshore fund being second out of 282 funds since its launch in March 2000. It is up 28.1 per cent over the period, as against the FTSE All Share Index which was down 30.3 per cent.

This is an outstanding performance, particularly as it is not a result of luck but of pure logic. The portfolio aims to invest in around 40 stocks, at present mainly outside the FTSE 100, where the managers are at present finding the best value.

What they aim for is growth at a reasonable price, in other words finding growth companies which happen to be good value at the present price.

The group has about £800m under management, mainly investment trusts and offshore funds, both of which have generally performed well over the past 10 years or so.

Another point in SVM&#39s favour is that it has never lost an investment manager. The whole group includes hugely talented fund managers who are renowned as a hard-nosed team of analysts who are able to take apart balance sheets and forecast future cash flows in order to make sure that the price of individual shares they are considering buying is good value.

This is certainly a fund which should be considered by all growth investors.

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