Schroder is one of the first companies off the starting blocks in the 1998 Pep campaign, with the launch of its Global Smaller Companies Pep.
The Pep is available to those looking to invest the full £6,000 and is split between three of Schroder's established unit trusts – UK smaller companies, European smaller companies and US smaller companies.
Schroder is pitching the plan at existing Pep investors looking to diversify their portfolio. It believes many investors have their main exposure in the UK with a bias towards larger companies.
In 1997 the stockmarkets were dominated by larger companies, with smaller companies lagging. However, Schroder believes in 1998 smaller companies will begin to outperform blue-chip shares.
Figures from Standard & Poor's Micropal show above-average sector performance for all three funds. Figures are based over five years on £1,000 invested on a bid-to-bid basis with net income reinvested as at January 1. The UK smaller companies fund is ranked seventh out of 56 funds in its sector, returning £2,574.45. European smaller companies is 22nd out of 112 funds, achieving a return of £2,531.52, and US smaller companies is fifth out of 110, returning £2,836.22.