InvestmentsJun 20 2019

Merian trust manager stands aside for 'family reasons'

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Merian trust manager stands aside for 'family reasons'
ByDavid Thorpe

The joint manager of the £209m Merian Chrysalis investment trust, Nick Williamson, is taking leave of absence for family reasons and will not return until September, the company has announced.

The trust invests in a small number of unquoted investments in the UK, and is jointly run by Mr Williamson, who also runs a UK Smaller Companies fund at the company, and Richard Watts, who also runs the £3bn Merian UK Mid Cap fund.

Mr Watts will run the trust with his team of analysts until Mr Williamson returns.

Mr Williamson has worked at Merian - and its predecessor business Old Mutual Global Investors - since 2008.

He launched the Merian Chrysalis trust with Mr Watts in November 2018 and since then it has has returned 13 per cent.

Mr Watts said the reason the trust was set up was to invest in companies before they reach the stock market. He and Mr Williamson have invested in initial public offerings for many years, but he wanted to invest in the earlier stages of a companies life, as he felt the returns could be higher in the years before a company joins the stock market.

A particular theme of the investments in the trust at the moment is challenger banks and other businesses in the digital finance market.