An article in Citywire highlighted ten funds who you have probably never heard of and we wanted to bring them in for a closer look….remember, this is not advice, just some funds you may like to look at and compare.

VT de Lisle America

VT De Lisle America funds performance graph

This $30.4 million fund has delivered a remarkable 160% over the past five years but is still relatively unknown as you can tell by its size. The fund is managed by Richard de Lisle and has a focus on smaller American companies, enjoying a small boost after the shock election of President-Elect Trump.

Based in Dorset, UK the firm has managed to outpace more established names in the US equities market with its esoteric fund. With a heavy emphasis on financials, the fund focuses on small cap US companies and contains several community banks. These shares have rallied strongly after the presidential election and investors anticipate banks will be beneficiaries of higher inflation and interest rates that are a likely outcome of Trump’s proposed spending and tax-cutting programmes.

ConBrio Sandford DeLand UK Buffetology

ConBrio Sandford funds performance graph

Although a bit of a mouthful name wise, the fund is steadily gaining fans as it keeps its place at the top of the charts, but at a meagre $80 million, is the little champion punching above its weight? With a delivery of 132.6% over the last five years, the answer is no as it’s placed towards the top of the UK All Companies sector, beating the record of the Lindsell Train UK Equity fund.

The fund has looked to the legend that is Warren Buffet in both its name and its approach to the UK market. A concentrated fund made of a small group of just 29 stocks, most of which are outside the FTSE 100. The fund’s manager Keith Ashworth-Lord, looks for companies with transparent financials, growing earnings, attractive free cashflow conversion and high barriers to entry.

Much like Buffett, Ashworth-Lord is prepared to hold onto his stocks for a long time and has been quoted as saying that he aspired to a year of zero turnover.

MI Downing UK Micro-Cap Growth

MI Downing performance graph

Again a fund that focuses on smaller companies, the fund itself is small at $28.9 million and has seen a five-year return of 121.4%.

Over 50% of the fund is invested in companies with a market capitalisation of below $63.4 million, and like others on this list, its manager Judith Mackenzie operates a concentrated approach, with just 28 stocks in the portfolio.

This approach often brings volatility associated with smaller companies funds, however, the maximum drawdown of 12.2% over the period is in line with the sector average.

River and Mercantile’s UK Equity Long Term Recovery Funds

River and Mercantile performance graph

Although long in name, this fund is one of our smallest in this article, at just $28.5 million and is often overshadowed by its big brother the flagship UK Equity Smaller Companies fund. It has still produced a healthy return of 102.8% over the last five years. Not an insignificant return given the negative sentiment towards recovery investments.

Admittedly, it has been bumpy in places, after doubling investors’ money across 2012 and 2013, the fund endured difficult times in 2014 and 2015 but has bounced back due to the recovery in oil and mining stocks.

GVQ UK Focus

GVQ performance graph

Smaller name but a bigger fund on our list at $497 million and with a relatively unknown group behind it. GVQ Investment Management launched in 2002 and runs just two other funds: GVQ Opportunities and the Strategic Equity Capital investment trust.

Performance has been strong with its manager Jamie Seaton, having doubled investor’s money over five years, which has placed the fund among the top 10 in the 226 strong UK All Companies sector.

Managing the fund using a private equity-style approach, certainly with the smaller companies within the portfolio, helps shapes their business direction. Again it has a concentrated approach with just 24 stocks in the GVQ UK Focus fund.

Marlborough European Multi-Cap Fund

Marlborough performance graph

Although Marlborough is known to many, mostly due to the long-term track record of its manager Giles Hargreave, who has managed UK Micro-Cap Growth and Nano-Cap Growth funds.

Their European Multi-Cap fund is managed by David Walton and currently with $73.4 million with a five-year return of 113.9%, some may say that Walton and the fund deserve a space in the spotlight.

In 2016, the fund received a staggering 48% return up until October, which is more than double the average for managers in the European ex-UK sector and places the fund at the very top of the tree.

Two-thirds of the portfolio is invested in companies with a market capitalisation of less than $1.3billion. This has helped the fund in a year when European small caps have, in the main, outperformed their blue-chip counterparts.

CC Asian Evolution funds

Coupland Performance graph

Hailing from the Coupland Cardiff boutique which has attracted loyal followers since its launch 10 years ago, this manager boasts the famous CC Japan Income & Growth fund, containing a whopping $583.5 million.

Less well known is the CC Asian Evolution fund which stands at just $78.7million and targets undervalued growth stocks and holds just 32 companies.

The fund has returned 85.9% over five years, well ahead of the 50.3% from the MSCI Asia Pacific ex-Japan index and placing the fund in the top 10 within the Asia Pacific ex-Japan sector.

Charlemagne Magna New Frontiers

Charlemagne Magna performance graph

Although a fairly unexplored market, the fund boasts a strong track record for its $82.5 million. Doubling investors’ money over the last five years, the fund currently sits at the top of the Frontier Markets sector. Many of the returns have come this year with the fund up 46.6% over the last 12 months.

With a shadow over the emerging markets following Trump’s shock victory, the fund’s managers Stefan Bottcher and Dominic Bokor-Ingram remain upbeat that there won’t be an impact on the frontier countries as these are predominately impacted by domestic factors and policies.

Montanaro UK Income

Although smaller than some of its companions in the UK Equity Income sector, it still stands at $205.5 million and has more than held its own amongst some of the dividend-seeking giants.

Showing a return of 86.9% over five years it has beaten the Invesco Perpetual Income and High Income funds as well as the $8.08 billion Artemis Income fund.

Again, the Montanaro UK fund focuses on smaller companies which has helped him rise towards the top of the sector.

Growth has been slow since the Brexit vote which has taken its toll on smaller companies as well as a rally in mining resources stocks.

Stryx America fund

Stryx America performance graph

Again, a small fund at just $25.3 million, this fund has delivered one of the best performances of all North America funds over the last five years returning 149.4% and yet has mostly remained hidden under the radar.

With a strong weighting towards the technology sector, which has been one of the main drivers of the US stock market rally over recent years, the buoyant consumer discretionary sector takes up another large chunk of the fund.


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