Aberdeen Standard Investments launches small-cap fund in Australia

Aberdeen Standard Investments has launched the Aberdeen Standard Global Smaller Companies Fund in Australia.

The fund provides investors and financial advisers with access to a high-conviction, professionally managed portfolio of quality global smaller company investment opportunities.

“We are delighted to be making our Global Smaller Companies strategy available in Australia,” says Brett Jollie, managing director of Aberdeen Standard Investments Australia. “It’s a further demonstration of our focus on bringing our suite of world-leading global investment capabilities to meet the needs of Australian investors.”

“Australian investors tend to have a high exposure to larger companies in their offshore portfolios,” Jollie continues. “By adding exposure to smaller companies investors can introduce additional long-term capital growth opportunities while diversifying investment risk.”

The Aberdeen Standard Global Smaller Companies Fund is co-managed by Alan Rowsell and Kirsty Desson, who have 24 years and 20 years’ investment experience respectively and are part of a dedicated team of nine covering global small caps.

The UK version of the fund has GBP1.16 billion in assets under management as at end May 2020, and has achieved an annualised return of 14 per cent (net of fees) over the five years to 31 May 2020. During this period, the Fund has achieved an average annualised outperformance of 6.4 per cent (net of fees) when compared with MSCI AC World Small Cap.

Rowsell, who manages the Aberdeen Standard Global Smaller Companies Fund, says: “Around 70 per cent of the world’s listed companies are small-caps, but they attract less analyst coverage than their larger cap peers. This means there are often greater and more frequent discrepancies between their fundamentals and their market valuations, creating a rich environment for a fundamental, active stock picker like ASI to find promising businesses before the rest of the market.

“While market conditions have been challenging recently, we have significant experience managing client money in a range of market environments, using an investment process that has been unchanged since the 1990s.

“We are long term investors, thinking about companies over the next three to five years, not the next three to five months. We are driven by a focus on high quality companies with strong balance sheets and resilient earnings profiles, many of which are leaders and innovators with sustainable growth prospects in niche market segments, and as a result tend to generate higher returns over the long term regardless of the challenging macro environment."

“Importantly, we place environment, social and governance considerations and active stewardship at the heart of our investment approach. Understanding ESG risks and opportunities in small caps alongside other financial metrics allows us to make more informed decisions and generate better risk-adjusted returns for our clients,” he adds.

The Aberdeen Standard Global Smaller Companies Fund recently received its inaugural research rating of “Recommended” from research house Zenith Investment Partners. The product disclosure statement is available on ASI’s Australian website.

ASI also recently partnered with leading investment platform HUB24 to provide comprehensive digital client engagement tools and tailored investment solutions, enabling financial advisers to serve a wider range of clients in a more personalised way.