Boutique Buys

Fund Focus

Boutique Buys

Invesco Perpetual, Jupiter, M&G and Fidelity. All well known, well respected large investment houses with multiple funds, well known fund managers and large advertising budgets. It sometimes takes a leap of faith to trust someone with your hard earned money and hand it to a company that you might not have heard of. However, by researching funds, facts and figures, we at Elson believe we can help by pointing out some very well run funds by relatively unknown or small boutique investment houses. You may not have heard of these funds but they could end up being the star buys of the future!

Boutique investment houses come in all shapes and sizes and share similar characteristics. Most of the managers have previously worked for large investment houses and will have set up the boutique to manage money more efficiently. Most are initially funded by the fund managers, who along with their staff, have a vested interest in the company. The majority of managers have some of their own personal wealth invested in their fund to show true commitment to their strategies and beliefs.

Boutiques tend to offer concentrated expertise in limited areas as opposed to trying to be all things to all people as some of the larger firms do. Targeting returns for clients is their number one priority and they can concentrate on this without the same levels of corporate interference that they may receive from larger groups.

Another thing these funds have in common is excellent fund performance! So, why not take a look and see what you think. If you require more information on any of these funds, please feel free to contact us in the usual way. Alternatively, you can use the detailed performance browser to take a look at more in-depth detail including the fact sheets and KIIDs. All of these funds plus thousands more are available to buy through us via Cofunds or Fundsnetwork either online or by paper application.

Amati Logo
Fund Objective
The Fund aims to achieve long-term capital growth. The Fund invests in UK smaller companies.

About Amati

Amati Global Investors is a specialist fund management business based in Edinburgh. It focuses on UK small and mid-sized companies, with a universe ranging from fully listed constituents of the FTSE Mid 250 and FTSE Small Cap indices, to stocks quoted on the Alternative Investment Market ("AIM").

Although they focus on companies quoted in London, or based in the UK, as investors they have a global outlook. Conventional wisdom suggests that UK smaller company investments are predominantly dependent on the UK economy, but amongst the 1,500 or so smaller companies listed in London are those which have operations in almost every part of the world. They see the international outlook typical of many UK businesses as being a core strength, and seek to make a virtue of this as investors. Hence they approach investment decisions with a global mindset.


Dr. Paul Jourdan

Name: Dr. Paul Jourdan

Since: 01/09/2000

Biography: Dr Paul Jourdan is an award winning fund manager, with a strong track record in small cap investment. He co-founded Amati Global Investors following the management buyout of Noble Fund Managers from Noble Group in 2010, having joined Noble in 2007 as Head of Equities. His fund management career began in 1998 with Stewart Ivory, which was taken over by First State in 2000 at which time Paul became manager of what is now TB Amati UK Smaller Companies Fund. In early 2005 he launched what is now Amati VCT and he also manages Amati VCT 2 after the investment management contract moved to Amati Global Investors in 2010. In September 2014 Amati launched the Amati AIM IHT Portfolio Service, which Paul co-manages with Douglas Lawson and David Stevenson. Prior to 1998 Paul worked as a professional violinist, including a four year period with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. He is CEO of Amati and a Director of Sistema Scotland.

David Stevenson

Name: David Stevenson

Since: 01/07/2012

Biography: David Stevenson joined Amati in 2012. In 2005 he was a co-founding partner of investment boutique Cartesian Capital, which managed a range of retail and institutional UK equity funds in long only and long/short strategies. Prior to that he was Assistant Director at SVM, where he also managed equity products including the UK Opportunities small/midcap fund which was ranked top decile for the 5 year period from inception to 2005. David started his career at KPMG where he qualified as a Chartered Accountant. He latterly specialised in corporate finance, before moving into private equity with Dunedin Fund Managers. David has co-managed the TB Amati UK Smaller Companies Fund and the Amati VCTs since 2012.

Douglas Lawson

Name: Douglas Lawson

Since: 01/10/2008

Biography: Douglas Lawson co-founded Amati Global Investors with Paul Jourdan. Prior to this he worked in corporate finance and private equity, initially focusing on middle market UK private equity and listed company M&A at British Linen Advisors, and latterly as an investment manager in the private equity team at Noble. Douglas has co-managed the TB Amati UK Smaller Companies Fund and Amati VCT since 2009, and Amati VCT 2 since 2010. Douglas started his career at Ernst & Young in London, where he qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 2002. He is a Director of Amati.

Fundsmith Logo
Fund Objective
The Company will invest in equities on a global basis. The Company's approach is to be a long-term investor in its chosen stocks. It will not adopt short-term trading strategies.

About Fundsmith

Fundsmith is focused on delivering superior investment performance at a reasonable cost. It was established to be different from its peers so as to achieve a different result in line with Sir John Templeton's axiom that "If you want to have a better performance than the crowd, you must do things differently from the crowd." The rigorous research process of Fundsmith is central to what they do. They apply exacting standards to potential investments to produce a portfolio of resilient businesses with excellent performance. Minimising the costs they incur on behalf of their customers in implementing their strategy also sits at the heart of their philosophy.

Fundsmith was established in 2010 by Terry Smith. The business is owned and controlled by its partners, who have worked closely together over many years, and is headquartered in London with an office in Connecticut, USA. It is structured to survive Terry Smith�s demise and continue with the same investment philosophy. All partners of the firm have a significant co-investment in their Funds delivering a clear alignment of interest. Ancillary activities are outsourced to some of the world's leading providers in order to deliver high-quality operations whilst allowing the Fundsmith team to focus on investment analysis, portfolio management and customer care. As at 31st December 2016 they managed £10bn on behalf of some of the world's largest and most sophisticated wealth managers and private banks as well as for prominent families, charities, endowments and individuals invested in their fund range; Fundsmith Equity Fund (UK OEIC), Fundsmith Equity Fund Feeder (Luxembourg SICAV), Fundsmith Equity Fund L.P. (Delaware L.P.) and the Fundsmith Emerging Equities Trust plc (London Stock Exchange Listed Investment Trust).


Terry Smith

Name: Terry Smith

Since: 01/11/2010

Biography: Terry Smith graduated in History from University College Cardiff in 1974. He worked for Barclays Bank from 1974-83 and became an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Bankers in 1976. He obtained an MBA at The Management College, Henley in 1979. He became a stockbroker with W Greenwell & Co in 1984 and was the top-rated bank analyst in London from 1984-89. In 1990 he became head of UK Company Research at UBS Phillips & Drew, a position from which he was dismissed in 1992 following the publication of his best selling book Accounting for Growth. He joined Collins Stewart shortly after, and became a director in 1996. In 2000 he became Chief Executive and led the management buy-out of Collins Stewart, which was floated on the London Stock Exchange five months later. In 2003 Collins Stewart acquired Tullett Liberty and followed this in 2004 with the acquisition of Prebon Group, creating the world's second largest inter-dealer broker. Collins Stewart and Tullett Prebon were demerged in 2006 with Terry remaining CEO of Tullett Prebon until September 2014. In 2010 he founded Fundsmith where he is CEO and CIO. In 2012 he was appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to New Zealand-UK relations following the success of his campaign to commemorate the New Zealander, Air Marshal Sir Keith Park.

Wise Logo
Fund Objective
Emphasis on sustainable real dividend growth. Focus on companies with high returns on capital and strong free cash-flow. Low portfolio turnover, long-term holding periods. Minimum of 80% in UK shares and up to 20% in overseas shares and/or cash. Invests across the market-cap spectrum.

About Wise Investments

They invest their clients' savings alongside our own, so they will always have their best interests at heart.

They undertake detailed statistical and quantitative analysis of the markets, and constantly monitor the valuations and fundamental performance of the companies they follow. In this line of work, it's vital to be informed and up-to-speed, ready to seize the best opportunities when they arise. And when share prices swing around - as they inevitably do - they don't get jumpy or over-react. Experience has taught them to hold their nerve and see the bigger picture. By communicating openly and honestly with their clients, they hope they can see the sense in this too - even when times are bad.

They've done their time in the City, and taken lessons from it. Now they are fully committed to making a success of Evenlode. They won't be leaving any time soon for pastures new which means they'll be looking after your investment portfolio diligently and for many years to come.


Hugh Yarrow

Name: Hugh Yarrow

Since: 19/10/2009

Biography: Hugh joined Wise in 2009 and is the lead portfolio manager of Evenlode Income, the UK Equity Income fund he launched in October of the same year. He was appointed as a director of Wise in 2012. Hugh graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a first class degree in philosophy and mathematics in 2002. From 2002 to 2009 he worked as an investment manager on several equity income funds at Rathbone Unit Trust Management. Hugh is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment and holds the Investment Management Certificate.

Ben Peters

Name: Ben Peters

Since: 01/12/2012

Biography: Ben has been the investment analyst for Evenlode Income since the fund's launch, and became co-manager in December 2012. Ben is a member of the CFA Society of the UK and holds the Investment Management Certificate. He also holds a doctorate from the University of Oxford and a first-class degree from University College London, both in the field of physics.

Lindsell Logo
Fund Objective
To deliver capital and income growth and provide a total return in excess of that of the FTSE All-Share Index by investing primarily in shares quoted on any of the markets of the London Stock Exchange, including the Alternative Investment Market (AIM). Whilst the primary focus will be in the UK, the Fund may also invest in other global markets.

About Lindsell Train

Lindsell Train was established in 2000 by Michael Lindsell and Nick Train and was founded on the shared investment philosophy that developed while they worked together during the early 1990s and which underlies their business today. Reflecting their experience, the business focuses on the management of UK, Global and Japanese equity mandates for institutional clients.

The "purpose" of Lindsell Train is to provide a professional working environment that enables them to achieve strong investment results for their clients. We think it important to maintain a small and simple organisational structure that avoids the bureaucracy and distractions experienced within some larger, more complex investment management businesses. The structure is designed to allow the investment professionals to concentrate on investment issues and to give them the freedom to invest in line with their investment principles, which they believe will maximise returns to their investors over the longer term.

The company continues to be majority owned (72.5%) by the two founders. This is important because it allows them to maintain the integrity of the business principles on which the firm was founded. A further 3% is owned by staff and the remainder is held by a London-listed investment trust, the Lindsell Train Investment Trust PLC, which was the first investment mandate established by the company.


Nick Train

Name: Nick Train

Since: 10/07/2006

Biography: Nick Train co-founded Lindsell Train Limited in 2000. He is the portfolio manager for UK equity portfolios and jointly manages Global portfolios. Nick has over 30 years experience in investment management. Before founding Lindsell Train he was head of Global Equities at M&G Investment Management, having joined there in 1998 as a director. Previously he spent 17 years (1981 - 1998) at GT Management which he left soon after its acquisition by Invesco. At his resignation he was a director of GT Management (London), Investment Director of GT Unit Managers and Chief Investment Officer for Pan-Europe. Nick has a BA honours degree in Modern History from Queen's College, Oxford.

Unicorn Logo
Fund Objective
The Unicorn UK Growth Fund aims to achieve long term capital growth through investment in a portfolio of UK equities.

About Unicorn

Unicorn Asset Management is an independent boutique asset management business established in 2000. They specialise in managing funds investing in UK quoted small to mid-cap companies. Their approach is traditional, long term, team based, conservative and unashamedly old fashioned, only investing in businesses that they understand and which they believe have long term potential to grow.

Unicorn maintain a simple and streamlined operational structure designed to ensure that they can concentrate on managing investments. They try to avoid the bureaucracy that can proliferate in larger organisations.

Their philosophy combines both value and growth disciplines. They employ a bottom-up approach to identify under-valued, profitable, strongly managed growth companies which are not well known or understood by the wider market.

Unicorn aims to deliver consistent upper-quartile performance by investing in businesses which themselves are capable of delivering consistent and sustainable earnings growth. These companies are required to be profitable and cash generative.

Each OEIC portfolio contains between 30 and 50 stocks chosen with high conviction stock specific risk is mitigated by investing in relatively low risk, high quality companies. Their aim is to deliver strong and consistent long term out-performance by targeting absolute returns therefore making real money for investors in our funds.

A long term approach to investment is adopted with the holding periods expected to be 5 years or more. Unicorn has a proven and consistent track record in this area of the market. The successful investment management team at Unicorn is well established, sharing over 100 years' experience in managing UK equity portfolios


Fraser Mackersie

Name: Fraser Mackersie

Since: 01/03/2011

Biography: Fraser is co-manager of Unicorn UK Income Fund and Acorn Income Fund and lead manager of Unicorn UK Growth Fund. Fraser joined Unicorn in 2008 having previously held positions with F&C Asset Management and Geoghegan & Co Chartered Accountants. He graduated from the University of St Andrews in 2003 with a degree in Economics and Management and is also a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.

Chelverton Logo
Fund Objective
The objective of the fund is to achieve long-term capital growth by investing primarily in a portfolio of fully listed and AIM traded UK equities.

About Chelverton

They harness the traditional values behind a long-term investment philosophy with the modern approach of keeping things simple. As experts at investing in small and mid-cap stocks, this is where they focus all of their time. Without the restriction of an oversized corporate infrastructure, they are able to keep their operation agile and investor focused, always ready to adapt to the continuous movement of today's investment landscape.


David Taylor

Name: David Taylor

Since: 20/10/2014

Biography: David Taylor began his career as an analyst in the research department at Wedd Durlacher and moved into fund management in 1987 with the Merchant Navy Officers Pension Fund. He joined Gartmore Investment Limited in 1991, during this time, he ran a combination of institutional funds and investment trusts, namely the Clydesdale Investment Trust and London & Strathclyde Trust. In 1995, he moved to LGT to manage small cap retail funds and latterly spent nearly seven years as head of UK smaller companies at HSBC Asset Management. He joined Chelverton Asset Management in January 2006 and has co-managed the Chelverton UK Equity Income Fund since launch.

James Baker

Name: James Baker

Since: 01/12/2012

Biography: James Baker is a history graduate from Cambridge University. He has over 30 years of equity market experience on both buy and sell sides, specialising for all of his career in UK Small and Mid caps stock selection. He has worked for several organisations over the years but most notably spent 11 years from 1999 to 2011 as part of the ABN Amro, Small Mid cap sales team, which was consistently top ranked by Extel. Prior to joining Chelverton, he worked as the Assistant fund manager on the Rathbone UK Recovery Fund.

Gravis Capital Logo
Fund Objective
  • Deliver a regular income expected to be 5% per annum
  • Preserve investors' capital throughout market cycles with the potential for capital growth and protection from inflation
  • Invests in UK Listed Securities including Investment Companies, Equities, Bonds and REITs
  • Offers exposure to a vital sector for the UK's economy which is increasingly becoming a key component of any well-balanced investment portfolio

About Gravis Capital

The VT UK Infrastructure Income Fund (UKIIF) is advised by infrastructure specialist Gravis Capital Management Ltd which, in addition to the VT UK Infrastructure Income Fund, manages approximately £2.5bn in 3 closed ended investment companies all of which are listed on the London Stock Exchange. The company's funds are designed to deliver reliable and predictable returns by investing in the UK's infrastructure sector through both debt & equity.

UKIIF is viewed as a proxy for UK Government backed cashflow with the underlying companies in which the fund invests owning a diverse range of public assets including hospitals, schools, courts buildings, fire & police stations in addition to solar parks and wind farms. The fund has a significant degree of diversification with over 1000 infrastructure projects contributing to the income distributions. These projects are in turn supported by lengthy public sector contracts generating regular and predictable cash flows for terms of up to 25 years.


Stephen West

Name: Stephen West

Since: 25/1/2016

Biography: Stephen West joined Gravis Capital in 2015 as a partner to take on the lead adviser role of the VT UK Infrastructure Income Fund. Following a successful career at the Bar, Stephen West spent 20 years in the City working in the Credit Markets, primarily at UBS where he was Global Head of Credit Trading, Underwriting, Sales and Research. In this role he ran a division of 1000 people and was responsible for a trading book of over $400bn.

Crux Logo
Fund Objective
The investment objective of the Fund is to achieve long term capital growth by investing in European (excluding the UK) equities of companies in special situations.

About Crux

  • CRUX Asset Management was established in 2014 by a group of individuals dedicated to providing clients with superior investment returns and excellent client service.
  • Their team of investment professionals has decades of fund management experience.
  • They align their personal investment outcomes with those of their clients by investing meaningful amounts of their own assets in their funds.

The senior executive management team is responsible for the day-to-day running of the business allowing the investment management team to focus on providing superior investment returns.


Richard Pease

Name: Richard Pease

Since: 01/10/2009

Biography: Richard has over three decades of experience in the financial industry. After running funds with the Central Board of Finance and Windsor Investment Management, Richard joined Jupiter Asset Management in 1989 where he started and ran the Jupiter European fund and several other European vehicles. In 2001, he helped set up New Star Asset Management where he launched and managed both onshore and offshore European funds. On Henderson Global Investor's acquisition of New Star in April 2009, he became a Director of European Equities. In October 2009, Richard launched the Henderson European Special Situations fund. Richard joined CRUX in June 2015 following a Scheme of Arrangement that allowed him to merge the Henderson European Special Situations fund with the CRUX European Special Situations fund. Richard also co-manages the CRUX European fund.

James Milne

Name: James Milne

Since: 08/06/2015

Biography: James worked at Henderson Global Investors as a European equities fund manager from April 2009 until he joined CRUX in June 2015 with the successful merger of the Henderson European Special Situations Fund and the CRUX European Special Situations Fund. James previously worked at New Star Asset Management, which he joined in August 2006. James began his career in 2002 at KPMG in London where he qualified as a chartered accountant before moving into corporate finance. He graduated from Magdalen College, Oxford with a double first class degree in Engineering Science.

Article posted - 25 July 2017

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Elson Associates does not offer advice as to the suitability of investments. If you are unsure whether an investment is suitable for you, you should obtain expert advice. Past performance of an investment is not necessarily a guide to its performance in the future. The value of investments or income from them may go down as well as up. You may not necessarily get back the amount you invested.

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