140. Why small-caps are the place to be in this part of the economic cycle

Simon Moon, manager of the Unicorn UK Smaller Companies fund, tell us why smaller companies are the place to be in this stage of the economic recovery. He also talks us through why small-caps can be leaders in the ESG space, despite being overlooked by a number of credit rating agencies. He also explains why a business like Braemar Shipping Services can benefit from the blocking of the Suez Canal and why market-leading steel company Severfield has more strings to its bow than just office development. Simon also covers how M&A activity can be both a blessing and a curse for a small-cap manager.

Unicorn UK Smaller Companies fund prioritises individual stock selection rather than positioning the portfolio for a particular macroeconomic view. Managed by Simon Moon, the investment process begins with a number of quantitative screens for profitability, debt levels and analyst coverage. The fund avoids companies in the oil and gas, mining and biotech sectors. All companies must be profitable at the point of investment. The team looks for stocks with lasting competitive advantages, experienced management teams and strong balance sheets. The portfolio has a low turnover, and stocks are purchased with long-term investment horizons.

Read more about Unicorn UK Smaller Companies

What’s covered in this podcast

  • Why small-caps are the place to be in this part of the economic cycle and why the UK is favourable compared to its peers [0:18]
  • How M&A activity can be a double-edged sword for a UK small-cap manager [2:03]
  • The success of payments and collection company Alpha FX and why they’re not looking at cryptocurrencies just yet [3:20]
  • How a business like Braemar Shipping Services benefits from events like the blocking of the Suez Canal [5:11]
  • Why market leading steel company Severfield’s fortunes are not tied to office development [6:42]
  • Why smaller companies can be leaders in ESG and what’s holding them back [9:01]
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