Aegon on course to launch UK small-caps fund

Aegon Asset Management plans to launch a UK smaller companies fund within the next two months. The fund would be managed by the group’s ethical investment team, with Elaine Morgan as lead manager.

She will be supported by Audrey Ryan, who manages the group’s 83m Ethical Equity fund, and Peter Shore.

Andrew Fleming, Aegon’s managing director, says that as a result of the “dark green” ethical investment process of the Ethical Equity fund, it predominantly invests in British small and medium-sized companies.

As a result, he says, while the team has built up a strong track record, this has been missed by most as they do not run a specialist retail UK small-cap fund. The UK smaller companies fund would not be run with the same ethical criteria as the Ethical Equity fund. However, as well as running this fund, Morgan, Ryan and Shore all contribute small-cap ideas to Aegon’s UK equity fund and manage small-cap money for the group’s pension clients.

According to Standard & Poor’s, over both one and three years to April 4, 2006, the Aegon Ethical Equity fund is ranked first-quartile in the IMA UK All Companies sector.

The fund would be Aegon’s third UK offering, behind Ethical Equity and Stephen Adams’s 149m UK Equity fund.

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