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Fund manager who made investors a 10,000pc return finally steps down

·2-min read
simon knott fund manager
simon knott fund manager

A low-profile fund manager who made an investment return of more than 10,000pc is stepping down after 39 years.

Simon Knott, who has managed the Rights & Issues investment trust since 1984, will step down as its investment manager on September 1.

He will remain as a non-executive director.

Mr Knott made a 10,371pc return during his career in the City, compared to a 610pc rise by the FTSE All-Share index over the same period.

He adopted a “value” style of investing in smaller British companies and made big bets on a small pool of holdings after thorough research.

His largest current holding, Treatt, the fragrances company, accounts for 20pc of its portfolio, while four others account for more than 10pc each. Most fund managers are wary of exceeding 5pc for a single holding.

Peter Spiller, manager of the Capital Gearing investment trust, a former investor in Rights & Issues, said: “Over the years it has had a terrific record, achieved rather splendidly by selecting a few high-conviction ideas and running with them over the years.”

Mr Knott’s trust did minimal marketing yet attracted a loyal following among private savers, whose combined holdings made investment “platforms” such as Hargreaves Lansdown among its biggest shareholders.

Peter Hewitt of BMO Global Asset Management said Mr Knott “seemed to have a unique style – he was not part of a big group but smaller investors identified with him and his style of management”.

Rights & Issues is one of a dwindling number of “self-managed” investment trusts. Most trust boards now appoint an external fund management company to run the portfolio. Rights & Issues has decided to adopt this model when Mr Knott steps down, after which it will be run by Jupiter Fund Management.

The trust said: “The board would like to express its gratitude to Simon Knott for his 39 years of service. Simon has produced outstanding returns for shareholders over the period of his tenure.”

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