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Julian Gibbs

Stuart Sharp of Rensburg runs two smaller companies funds. He has been managing the UK smaller companies fund for nearly 10 years while his other fund, the UK microcap growth trust, was launched around 18 months ago.

Both are top performers and should continue to be UK equity funds that every IFA should consider.

Sharp is one of the most dedicated fund managers in the industry and his long-term performance is in the top 10 of all the 200 or so UK equity funds with a 10-year record.

The UK smaller companies fund has outperformed the average smaller companies fund by more than 150 per cent over 10 years and is the top performer of all this year. The UK microcap growth fund, which is rather more risky and is not being marketed at present, is up by over 50 per cent.

The smaller companies fund is of manageable size at £52m, so Sharp still has the flexibility to invest in some excellent very small companies. Around 22 per cent of his holdings are Aim companies, about 16 per cent in oil and gas, with the balance of the portfolio widely spread. Cairn Energy and Burren Energy are the only shareholdings over 2.5 per cent of the portfolio.

Sharp and his team visit over 300 companies annually to develop stock ideas. The key factors he looks for are confidence in the management, directors who place a strong emphasis on building shareholder value and the dynamics of the firm&#39s business environment. He believes that all the economic evidence points to a modest recovery.

Sharp thinks there are many good investment opportunities in the smaller companies sector. I am expecting his two funds to be among the top 10 performers over the next year or two. I recommend these funds as part of a portfolio for all UK equity investors.


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