Aberdeen Smaller Companies Income Trust PLC

Hunting smaller companies for a stronger income


Morningstar rating:
5 out of 5

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Latest news

An update from our investment manager, Abby Glennie - 10 September 2020

We hope that the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic is behind us, but it has left us with many challenges ahead. Fears are rising of another wave of infections, meaning we are still in an uncertain environment. We are hopeful that the health impacts of the increase in positive cases look limited, and this should be manageable and the NHS in a strong position to cope with any second waves. Further lockdowns or restrictions will bring more misery to sectors that have already been hit the hardest, such as travel and leisure.

Front of mind this month is the end of the furlough scheme. The scheme has been effective at keeping unemployment down at the peak of the crisis but as the scheme unwinds and the economy continues to operate below capacity, unemployment could rise significantly. The true impact on the labour market won’t be clear until winter. The government has an important role to play, they’ll need to continue to support the economy short term, and importantly prepare it for a different future. Initiatives to ‘upskill’ a significant part of the workforce and upgrading infrastructure to cope with permanent change in some sectors could help support unemployment and economic growth. There is likely to be a mix shift in the economy, with relative strengths of sectors that have benefited from lockdown trends compared to GDP losses in other sectors. The full economic recovery requires a viable solution to Covid-19. Whether it is herd immunity, a vaccine or something else, we still don’t have certainty. With volatile news on vaccine progress, a clear solution could be some way off. 

We also have to pay for the lockdown. Headlines are dominated now with tax rises on wealth creators but we need a pro-growth strategy to truly rebuild the economy again. Without a clear policy, uncertainty and fear will persist. As the final deadline for Brexit approaches we have yet more uncertainty to deal with. The backdrop now is very different to what it was last year and late stage negotiations may well lead to a messy departure. A no deal Brexit could exacerbate the economic crisis. Currency and equity markets haven’t yet reacted too much to this but as focus shifts back to the negotiations we are likely to see volatility. Further afield, the US presidential election is very close to call and this will become a bigger focus next quarter. 

Our companies have navigated the immediate impact of the lockdown and are now looking at what comes next as they adapt to the change in economic environment and structural changes underlying that. For us we have now had more clarity from companies as guidance has come back into the market. Generally we have been pleased with how our companies have reported and some have resumed payments sooner than expected. With policies changing rapidly, recovery uncertain and the Covid-19 consequences not yet fully played out, companies are still carefully managing the balance of capital allocation. Businesses are balancing opportunities with challenges, and for some having the confidence to restart dividend payments is not yet certain enough. 

With high levels of uncertainty in a number of areas, we believe our focus on Quality business will steer us well; resilient companies who are trading well, have balance sheet strength, strong ESG credentials, and experienced talented management teams at the helm. We invest in businesses who have many levers for growth, and who we believe can grow despite economic headwinds. We believe these quality growth businesses will become more sought after in tough environments.

Key people

Abby Glenie

Abby Glennie

Investment Director

Abby Glennie is an Investment Director at Aberdeen Standard Investments. She is responsible for UK Opportunities, Smaller Companies Pension Fund, and Bothwell Smaller Companies fund. Abby joined Standard Life in 2013 from Kames Capital where she was an Investment Analyst

Abby graduated with a joint 1st MA, in Economics and Finance from University of Aberdeen and is a CFA charterholder.

Amanda Yeaman

Amanda Yeaman

Investment Manager

Amanda is an Investment Manager at Aberdeen Standard Investments. Amanda is responsible for providing research support predominantly for our UK Smaller Companies strategy but also to the wider Smaller Companies team. Amanda Joined the company in June 2019 from Investec Securities where she was a small and mid-cap equity sales specialist.

  • Abby Glennie

    Investment Director

    Abby Glennie is an Investment Director at Aberdeen Standard Investments. She is responsible for UK Opportunities, Smaller Companies Pension Fund, and Bothwell Smaller Companies fund. Abby joined Standard Life in 2013 from Kames Capital where she was an Investment Analyst

    Abby graduated with a joint 1st MA, in Economics and Finance from University of Aberdeen and is a CFA charterholder.

  • Amanda Yeaman

    Investment Manager

    Amanda is an Investment Manager at Aberdeen Standard Investments. Amanda is responsible for providing research support predominantly for our UK Smaller Companies strategy but also to the wider Smaller Companies team. Amanda Joined the company in June 2019 from Investec Securities where she was a small and mid-cap equity sales specialist.

Robert Lister

Robert Lister

Chairman

Robert Lister, appointed in March 2012, is a non-executive director of Investec Wealth and Investment Limited. He has over 20 years' experience of investment management and formerly global head of equities at Dresdner Kleinwort and head of European equities at Barclays de Zoete Wedd.

David Fletcher

David Fletcher

Independent Non-Executive Director

David Fletcher, appointed on 1 August 2016, is Group Finance Director of Stonehage Fleming Family & Partners, a leading independently owned family office, having joined in 2002. Prior to that, he spent 20 years in investment banking with JPMorgan Chase, Robert Fleming & Co. and Baring Brothers & Co Limited, latterly focused on financial services in the UK (asset management and life insurance). He started his career with PricewaterhouseCoopers and is a chartered accountant. He is also an independent non-executive director of JP Morgan Claverhouse Investment Trust plc.

Degmar K Kershaw

Dagmar Kent Kershaw

Independent Non-Executive Director

Dagmar Kent Kershaw, appointed on 2 May 2017, has over 20 years’ investment experience specialising in credit and structured finance markets. She was Head of Credit Fund Management for Europe and Asia-Pacific at Intermediate Capital Group from 2008 until 2016. Prior to that she was the founder and Head of Structured Products at Prudential M&G and was also Head of Debt Private placements. Her previous experience in credit markets included roles at Scotiabank and NatWest Bank.

Barry Rose

Barry Rose

Independent Non-Executive Director

Barry Rose, appointed in March 2011, has a wide range of experience of investing in international markets. He is formerly a director of Scottish Provident Institution and Chief Executive of Scottish Provident UK. He is a non-executive director of Dimensional Imaging Limited and a director of Medical Research Scotland, a charity.

  • Robert Lister

    Chairman

    Robert Lister, appointed in March 2012, is a non-executive director of Investec Wealth and Investment Limited. He has over 20 years' experience of investment management and formerly global head of equities at Dresdner Kleinwort and head of European equities at Barclays de Zoete Wedd.

  • David Fletcher

    Independent Non-Executive Director

    David Fletcher, appointed on 1 August 2016, is Group Finance Director of Stonehage Fleming Family & Partners, a leading independently owned family office, having joined in 2002. Prior to that, he spent 20 years in investment banking with JPMorgan Chase, Robert Fleming & Co. and Baring Brothers & Co Limited, latterly focused on financial services in the UK (asset management and life insurance). He started his career with PricewaterhouseCoopers and is a chartered accountant. He is also an independent non-executive director of JP Morgan Claverhouse Investment Trust plc.

  • Dagmar Kent Kershaw

    Independent Non-Executive Director

    Dagmar Kent Kershaw, appointed on 2 May 2017, has over 20 years’ investment experience specialising in credit and structured finance markets. She was Head of Credit Fund Management for Europe and Asia-Pacific at Intermediate Capital Group from 2008 until 2016. Prior to that she was the founder and Head of Structured Products at Prudential M&G and was also Head of Debt Private placements. Her previous experience in credit markets included roles at Scotiabank and NatWest Bank.

  • Barry Rose

    Independent Non-Executive Director

    Barry Rose, appointed in March 2011, has a wide range of experience of investing in international markets. He is formerly a director of Scottish Provident Institution and Chief Executive of Scottish Provident UK. He is a non-executive director of Dimensional Imaging Limited and a director of Medical Research Scotland, a charity.

 

Financial calendar

Year End 31 December
Accounts Published May
Annual General Meeting April
Dividend Paid January, April, July, October

Trust details

Aberdeen Smaller Companies Income Trust PLC

Registered Office:
1 George Street,
Edinburgh
EH2 2LL

Registered in Scotland as an Investment Company Number SC137448

Launch Date: August 1992

Risk warning
Risk warning
The value of investments and the income from them can go down as well as up and you may get back less than the amount invested. Please refer to the relevant Key Information Document (KID) prior to making an investment decision. Please be aware of scams that can affect investors.