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Gresham House Strategic plc

INTERVIEW: Gresham House Strategic plc Top performing small-cap fund

Gresham House Strategic (LON: GHS) Managing Director Graham Bird joins DirectorsTalk to discuss the performance of its UK Smaller Companies fund through 2019, how he sees the portfolio overall, what’s in the pipeline for the next few months and how a JV with Aberdeen Standard Investments will benefit the company.

Investment Highlights

* One of the top-performing UK small-cap funds[1], delivering unaudited market-leading NAV total return performance of 8.0% to 1,253.9p[2]/share vs FTSE Small Cap Index total return of -3.1% in the year from 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019

* Three-year anniversary of management by Gresham House marked with strong NAV total return of 31.4% since inception and operational milestones achieved

* Driven by strong performance of its strategic investments including Augean, Tax Systems, IMImobile and Northbridge

* Realisations of £18.8m from profitable investments in the period; including IMImobile (£13.8m), Miton group (£1.7m), and Tax Systems (£2.0m)

* A number of value recovery plans underway or being prepared for underperforming investments – the potential benefits of the team’s value-recovery efforts can be seen at BeHeard in their latest results

Operational Highlights

* Gresham House Strategic was the top-performing UK small-cap fund for the calendar year 2018 versus OEIC and investment trust peers1

* Total shareholder returns of 20.4% in the year as GHS share price rose from 827.5p to 970p and FY18 dividend and FY19 interim dividend paid

* £1.9m return of cash to GHS shareholders via a buy-back and dividend in CY18

* Share price discount to NAV reduced from 30.0% at 31 March 2018 to 22.6% at 31 March 2019

* Exciting pipeline of strategic deals targeting completion for Q2 2019

* The GHS Board expects Gresham House Asset Management’s recently announced joint venture with Aberdeen Standard Investments, relating to its Strategic Public Equity (SPE) strategy led by Graham Bird and Tony Dalwood, to deliver significant positive benefits for GHS over the longer term

Gresham House Strategic plc is the only listed vehicle applying Gresham House’s Strategic Public Equity (‘SPE’) strategy. The Strategic Public Equity mandate utilises the principles and practices of private equity to invest in influential stakes in UK smaller public and private companies which it believes to be undervalued. As such, the team has an engaged, active style of investing, working closely with management teams, to create shareholder value through strategic or operational initiatives, supporting a clear 3-5 year management plan to implement these initiatives.

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Disclaimer: Statements in this article should not be considered investment advice, which is best sought directly from a qualified professional.