Nigel Thomas of ABN Amro is, without doubt, the best UK fund manager of all. At present, he manages ABN Amro UK growth and Solus UK special situations.
ABN Amro UK growth has had an outstanding record. It is the top-performing UK trust of all, over the past 10 years – up by over 800 per cent. This fund is also second over three and five years. Not surprisingly, that is second to Nigel's other fund, Solus UK special situations, which, since he has been managing it, is up by over 330 per cent over the past five years.
The next best fund, not managed by him, is more than 100 per cent behind. This is a pretty extraordinary record in a sector with over 200 funds. Now, he is giving up the management of Solus UK special situations as the contract to manage the fund expires at the end of this month.
So in March, he is going to manage a new fund called ABN Amro UK select opportunities, run on similar lines to Solus UK special situations, which can invest in any share in the UK stockmarket. Unlike many fund managers, he sells shares when they have gone up too far, too fast – and indeed made a lot of money out of technology shares.
He has now invested in some old economy shares, like ICI and Great Universal Stores, as well as some excellent smaller company shares.
ABN Amro UK growth is rather more conservatively run and is also a much bigger fund than Solus. The new fund will be able to invest in much smaller companies and be more flexible.
While the new fund will be more speculative than the ABN Amro UK growth trust, if held for the long term it is likely to emulate the performance of Solus. I have no hesitation in recommending that all investors in Solus UK special situations should make the switch to the new fund.