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Gresham House Strategic serves notice on asset manager

Gresham House Strategic serves notice on asset manager

Gresham House Strategic (GHS) has announced an internal strategic review alongside the retirement of its chairman.

The group said although it does not want to pre-empt the results of the review, it has served notice on Gresham House Asset Management as its asset manager.

In a note to the stock exchange this morning (May 24), the group said it has been ‘disappointed’ that despite ‘strong investment’ and share price performance, it has not been able to raise additional equity due to the discount of the group’s share price to its net asset value.

The discount sat at 6.3 per cent on March 31, 2021, down from 15 per cent in March the previous year.

It said the future growth of GHS was limited as a result of this, ‘at a time when both several attractive investment opportunities existed, and GHS would benefit from taking larger stakes in some of its existing investments’.

The firm will therefore undertake a strategic review with the objective of ‘determining the best course of action’ to provide growth for shareholders. The review will be conducted in conjunction with an independent financial adviser who will be appointed shortly.

Gresham House Strategic performed well in recent years. The small trust was named among the ten top performing funds by the Association of Investment Companies in November 2019 after returning 45 per cent.

In the year to 23 November 2018 it had outperformed all 48 open ended funds in the IA UK Smaller Companies sector and the 17 other investment trusts in the AIC UK Smaller Companies sector after it returned 18.3 per cent, while the average trust lost 6.5 per cent.

Alongside the review, the board announced that chairman David Potter will retire in September this year. Potter was one of the founders of GHS in 2015 after Spark Ventures was rebranded.

The firm said: “During David's period as chairman, GHS has delivered strong investment returns and has been one of the best performing small company investment funds in the UK. 

“The board of GHS will miss David's involvement and wishes him well.”

sally.hickey@ft.com