Equities  

Where should clients be positioned on the market cap spectrum?

This article is part of
Guide to the UK market post-Brexit

Jamie Clark, manager of the Liontrust Macro Equity Income Growth fund, says: "Reordering the portfolio in anticipation of a singular event isn’t part of our approach. It would be short-termist and may leave the fund on the wrong side of a binary trade."

Noises off

But what to make of Brexit political noise?

"We’d suggest that ‘noise’ is the operative word," says Mr Clark. "The referendum gave an immediate fillip to UK equities with non-sterling earnings: consumer staples, tobaccos and pharmaceuticals thrived.

"Brexit was harsher on UK companies with material domestic exposure. Of the worst performing UK large-caps on the day after the vote, UK sales averaged more than 80 per cent of total revenues. Housebuilders, life insurers and banks bore the brunt.”

Mr Clark says he expects the share prices of domestic earning companies to recover as the market gets more clarity about Brexit. 

But it is worth noting that the companies he has invested in that derive the greater part of their revenue from within the UK are large-cap businesses, such as Lloyds and St James’s Place, rather than mid or small-cap shares.

Dan Whitestone, manager of the £536m BlackRock Throgmorton Trust, notes he has changed nothing as a result of Brexit, with the decline in the valuations of domestically-focused small-cap shares not tempting him.

Mr Whitestone says his portfolio continues to focus on companies with global earnings.

John Goodall, head of private client research at WH Ireland, suggests: “We consider that investors should be careful not to have too much in the mega caps because this may lead to concentration within certain sectors such as oil, mining and pharmaceuticals.

"It is still possible to pick out winners across the market spectrum and we do have a bias to overseas earners because they tend to offer superior growth prospects to the UK dependent on client requirements.”

david.thorpe@ft.com