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Sector Watch: Small-caps bear the brunt of the credit crunch

Sector Watch: Small-caps bear the brunt of the credit crunch

Managers in the IMA UK Smaller Companies sector have seen returns dwindle further, with the average manager posting a loss of 20.34% over 12 months to the end of August.

BlackRock's Richard Plackett (above), was the best performing manager over the period, keeping losses down to 9.31% on his £306.4 million BlackRock UK Smaller Companies fund

In a recent fund update Plackett, who is A-rated by Citywire, said his outlook for the world economy continues to be mixed.

'There are significant worries over the outlook for the UK and US, but the emerging economies of the East continue to grow strongly. The recent round of trading updates from our investments has continued to be encouraging, and we will maintain our focus on high-quality companies with consistent track records of earnings growth and cash generation that demonstrate an ability to grow ahead of the market,' he said.

Top holdings at the end of August included Aveva Group at 5.6%, Detica Group at 2.9%, Chloride Group at 2.8%, Rotork at 2.8% and Chemring at 2.6%.

He took a new position in the ground engineering company Keller Group over the month, while exiting his holding in Dominos Pizza.

Meanwhile, second place was taken by Invesco Perpetual's AA-rated Richard Smith who posted a loss of 10.5% on his Invesco Perpetual UK Smaller Companies Equity fund. He was followed closely by Standard Life Investment's AAA-rated star manager Harry Nimmo who lost 10.88% on his SLI UK Smaller Companies vehicle.

Elsewhere, David Crawford and co-manager Richard Power lost 11.30% on their CF Octopus Opportunities fund, while Aegon manager Elaine Morgan lost 12.46% on her UK Smaller Companies vehicle and James Chapman lost 12.72% on his Credit Suisse Smaller Companies product.

Andrew Buchanan brought up the rear of the table with a loss of 34.46% on his Close Beacon Investment fund, he was outperformed only slightly by Connor McCarthy who saw a loss of 32.58% on his CF Techinvest Special Situations mandate.

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David Crawford
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10/70 in Alternative UCITS - Long/Short Equity (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 32.41%
Harry Nimmo
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13/48 in Equity - UK Smaller Companies (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 73.95%
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27/48 in Equity - UK Smaller Companies (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 54.98%
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8/48 in Equity - UK Smaller Companies (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 83.21%
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Richard Smith
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James Chapman
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