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It makes a pleasant change for an exciting new fund launch this year not to be hyped to the hills and back.

I would like to say that Peter Webb has quietly been building up an excellent reputation for himself and his team at Unicorn for managing smaller companies but quiet is not the best word to use when describing Peter Webb.

This fund was launched on July 15 although Unicorn deliberately did not do any marketing so not many of you will have heard of it. The Oeic will be very similar to the premier UK smaller companies fund that Peter managed, from which he has recently resigned. Peter is an active stockpicker who searches for companies that he thinks are undervalued.

He places particular emphasis on companies with experienced, motivated management which are supplying growth markets with either products or services. In addition, the companies have to be cash-generative. Unlike some of Unicorn&#39s investment trusts, this fund will invest across the whole range of market cap sizes from £20m to £1bn.

Peter Webb believes that most smaller firms are under-researched and generally ignored, which means as a specialist in this area with a strong team alongside him, he has a distinct advantage.

The team uses more of a venture capital-style approach, taking often big positions in firms and being as proactive as possible within the permitted rules. The only unfortunate thing about this fund is that if successful, which it probably will be, it will make Peter Webb even louder than he is now.

Ben Yearsley is an investment manager at Hargreaves Lansdown


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