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Downing appoints award-winning Fund Manager Rosemary Banyard

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Downing Fund Managers has appointed highly experienced and award winning1 fund manager Rosemary Banyard to run a new UK equity fund – The Downing Unique Opportunities Fund. The Fund focuses on UK small and mid-cap companies that are considered ‘unique’ because they can achieve above average returns on capital based on a sustainable competitive advantage. Banyard will use an investment process and style that she has developed over some 25 years as a fund manager. The relatively concentrated portfolio of between 25-40 positions will adopt an unconstrained approach, investing in UK companies across the market cap spectrum, including the FTSE100, mid and small cap, and the Alternative Investment Market (AIM).

Judith MacKenzie, Partner and Head of Downing Fund Managers comments:

“It is a real coup for Downing to attract a manager of such calibre and experience. We are delighted to welcome Rosemary as we develop our new boutique strategy, working alongside highly experienced fund managers with proven track records. She has a long-standing and enviable reputation of hunting down the best companies in the UK, unconstrained by benchmark or market cap, and delivering benchmark and inflation-beating returns to investors over the long term. The new fund will be complimentary to our existing strategies and Rosemary will provide valuable experience to the rest of the Downing Fund Managers team.”

Rosemary Banyard comments:

“I’m delighted to be joining Downing Fund Managers – I firmly believe that our strategies and processes are an excellent fit and the team will provide a very supportive framework. The opportunity to launch the Downing Unique Opportunities Fund is an exciting one and I believe this fund will appeal to investors. I shall adopt a tried and tested investment strategy, refined over many years, which focusses on businesses which have few if any peers listed in the UK. These businesses are likely to earn above average returns on equity without employing excessive leverage, by virtue of possessing certain attributes that protect them against competition. ”

Banyard began her career with James Capel & Co where she was a senior investment analyst for 12 years before becoming a fund manager at AIB Govett. She rose to prominence and developed a reputation as one of the leading female fund managers in the UK after she joined Schroders in 1997. For almost 20 years she was known for running the acclaimed Schroder UK Smaller Companies Fund with Andy Brough, and was for many years lead manager of the award-winning Schroder Mid Cap Fund PLC as well as heading up several other segregated UK equity mandates, managing total assets of circa £1 billion. In 2016 she joined Sanford DeLand to launch and manage the Free Spirit Fund. The Schroder UK Mid Cap trust returned 16%2 pa while she was manager and in her two and a half years managing money at Sanford DeLand the Free Spirit Fund returned 31%3 placing it in the top decile of the IA UK All Companies sector.

Any personal opinions expressed are subject to change and should not be interpreted as advice or a recommendation.


Downing Fund Managers is part of Downing LLP, a company with over 30 years’ experience, more than £1 billion AUM and approximately 25,000 investors. As investment specialists in smaller companies and funds, we focus on areas of the market where we believe there are structural inefficiencies and where our proprietary research can uncover hidden gems that we believe will provide outperformance over the long term. We are also committed to the principles of responsible investment, which can make investments more rewarding by being profitable for our investors.

1 Investment Week – Best UK Growth Trust 2013 & 2014. Outstanding Industry Contribution Award 2015

2 Schroder UK Mid Cap Fund plc, 1st May 2003 to 31st March 2016. (Lead manager).

3 Sanford DeLand Free Spirit Fund, 3 January 2017 to 30th June 2019


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