Family firms focus of new Stewart Investors investment trust

Stewart Investors will launch a global small-cap investment trust later this month that will buy family businesses.

The London Stock Exchange-listed ScotGems will be managed by Ashish Swarup, who will be supported by co-manager Tom Allen.

The investment trust will hold 20 to 30 positions in companies with a market cap up to $2.5bn.

While the fund is global, Stewart Investors says it will initially have a tilt towards Asia Pacific and global emerging markets and will seek companies with “quality characteristics in terms of franchise and financials” and management who “operate as long-term stewards”.

“The idea of focusing on smaller family-owned companies makes sound investment sense,” says ScotGems chairman William Salomon.

James Findlay is chief executive of Findlay Park joins Salomon on the board of directors, along with portfolio manager and former managing partner at Stewart Investors Angus Tulloch and Anne West, formerly of Cazenove.

Telecom and tech executive James Maclaurin is also a director.

The annual management fee is 1 per cent of net assets with the ongoing charge expected to be capped at 1.5 per cent.

The investment trust does not intend to use gearing. 

Swarup already manages several Global Emerging Market strategies and the Asia Pacific All Cap fund at Stewart Investors, where he has worked for three years.  He previously worked at Fidelity Investments.