Investment Trusts  

Smith beats Woodford to raise £822m for trust

Smith beats Woodford to raise £822m for trust

Terry Smith's small cap investment trust has broken Neil Woodford's record for the largest trust launch in the UK, raising £822m.

The fund manager increased the launch target of the Smithson trust from £250m to £600m because of "significant demand" but ended up having to raise this target again.

Mr Woodford's Patient Capital trust held the previous record for a trust launch when it raised £800m at its launch in 2015.

Mr Smith, chief executive and chief investment officer of Fundsmith LLP, said: "Our thesis that many of the existing small and mid cap funds in the market are anachronistic by being overly home biased and that there was a gap for a quality small and mid cap global equity fund appears to have been borne out by a wide range of investors subscribing for the Smithson offer.

"In addition, our innovative step to absorb all the issue costs as the investment manager has helped to remove the concern that investors participating in the initial public offering (IPO) would be subject to an initial loss from these costs.

"I look forward to working with our portfolio management team to deploy the funds raised into the compelling growth companies we have identified."

Smithson is a small and mid-cap investment trust which Mr Smith will not manage but he will advise its managers in his role as chief investment officer.

Mr Smith said the new trust will use the same strategy he uses on his main fund, Fundsmith Equity: "buy good companies", "don't overpay" and "do nothing".

The trust's managers have identified and researched an investable universe of 83 "compelling" companies, from which they will select between 25 and 40 to put into the portfolio.

The trust will be managed by Simon Barnard and Will Morgan, who were hired from Goldman Sachs last year.

Over the past five years Fundsmith Equity has returned 143.1 per cent, compared to the 57.1 per cent returned by its sector, the IA Global.

The Smithson trust will charge 0.9 per cent, and is based on the market cap of the trust, not the more commonly used net asset value.

It is expected to list on Friday (19 October) after the subscription period for shares ended last week.

damian.fantato@ft.com