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Performance review: why VWM Wealth’s Thomson is buying UK small caps

by Elsa Buchanan on Mar 13, 2014 at 12:39

Performance review: why VWM Wealth’s Thomson is buying UK small caps

David Thomson, chief investment officer at VWM Wealth, has reduced his exposure to emerging markets and Japan in favour of UK smaller companies.

‘In the firm’s balanced portfolio, we’ve switched 10% out of the Far East, and gone into UK smaller companies, mainly the Unicorn UK Smaller Companies fund [run by Citywire AA-rated John McClure and Simon Moon],’ he said.

Thomson’s first started moving into small caps in 2010 when large caps were in favour.

‘Just about every man and dog was coming to us with a UK fund, which were just large caps with an international bias.

‘It was a contrarian move at the time, but we’ve kept adding to the exposure,’ he said, pointing to a favourite, AAA-rated Chris St John’s AXA Framlington UK Mid Cap fund, as another core holding (12.5%).

He has 50.7% exposure to UK equities with the balanced portfolio’s largest position being in Liontrust Special Situations , managed by AA-rated duo Anthony Cross and Julian Fosh.

‘The fund had a relatively poor year in 2013, but it was still up 20% when the market was up 23%,’ he said. ‘It will come back into its own.’

He also holds the SVM UK Growth fund, run by Citywire AAA-rated Margaret Lawson and Colin McLean.

Globally, Thomson has also moved money into European smaller companies, with 11% exposure to the Continent.

‘We briefly flirted with Japan in spring last year, but went in too late. It was one of our not so great calls, so we exited and moved back into the Standard Life Investment UK Smaller Companies fund.

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