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Aberforth Smaller Companies (ASCoT) is the only UK smaller companies trust with an unambiguous value approach, barring its income-focussed sister Aberforth Split Level Income Trust.
The long-term track record has been extremely strong, although returns in recent years have been below those of the peer group thanks to the managers’ diligent adherence to a value approach - a style that has been very much out of favour in what has been a growth or momentum driven market.
The team of six managers have extensive experience, with the two founding partners having been involved in running the portfolio since 1990. The team has significant shareholdings in the trust, and all are partners, with their interests well-aligned with the long-term interests of shareholders.
The progressive dividend policy has been supplemented by special dividends over recent years, and with a well-covered dividend and significant revenue reserves, the managers hope they will be able to continue to grow the dividend even through the next cyclical downturn.
At 10%, the trust is currently trading on a wider discount than the sector, itself out of favour, thanks to its style having underperformed.
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Fund History: Aberforth Smaller Companies
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