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

An unremarkable fund manager who has achieved an investment return of more than 10,000 percent resigns after 39 years.

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

He will remain as a non-executive director.

Mr Knott has returned 10,371 per cent over his career in the City, compared with a 610 per cent rise in the FTSE All-Share Index over the same period.

He adopted a ‘value’ style of investing in smaller UK companies and, after thorough research, placed large bets on a small pool of holdings.

His current largest holding, fragrance company Treatt, accounts for 20 percent of his portfolio, while four others account for more than 10 percent each. Most fund managers are cautious about exceeding 5 percent for a single holding.

Peter Spiller, Manager of Capital Gearing Investment Trust, a former investor in Rights & Issues, said: “It has had an excellent track record over the years, achieved by picking a few compelling ideas and executing them quite brilliantly over the years .”

Mr Knott’s Trust did minimal marketing but attracted a loyal following among private savers whose combined holdings made investment “platforms” like Hargreaves Lansdown their largest shareholders.

Peter Hewitt of BMO Global Asset Management said Mr Knott “seems to have a unique style – he wasn’t part of a large group but smaller investors identified with him and his management style”.

Rights & Issues is one of the few “self-managed” mutual funds. Most trustee bodies now hire an external fund management company to manage the portfolio. Rights & Issues has chosen to adopt this model when Mr. Knott steps down, after which it will be continued by Jupiter Fund Management.

The Trust said: “The Board would like to thank Simon Knott for his 39 years of service. Simon has delivered outstanding returns for shareholders during his tenure.” Fund manager who made investors a 10,000pc return finally steps down

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