Downing Fund Managers

Downing Fund Managers is a boutique of established managers offering specialist single strategy portfolios that they believe have the potential to offer attractive long-term returns.

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Boutique asset manager

that draws on Downing's 30-year track record.

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Award winning fund managers

Judith MacKenzie and Rosemary Banyard.

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5 specialist funds

under one roof.

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Private equity approach

to stock picking. 

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Your capital is at risk and you may not get back the full amount you invested. Investments in these funds/trust are for the long term and higher risk compared to investments solely in larger, more established companies. Please read full details of the risks here.

Understanding Downing Fund Managers

  • What's our story so far?

    We're a boutique asset management company. Here's our story so far:

    • 2009 – Judith MacKenzie joins Downing LLP after 9 years at Aberdeen Asset and 2 years at Acuity Capital, a management buyout from Electra.
    • 2011 – Judith establishes Downing Public Equity and takes over the MI Downing UK Micro-Cap Growth Fund.
    • 2012 – James Lynch joins Downing LLP as part of the unlisted team, before transferring to Downing Public Equity in 2013.
    • 2013 & 2015 – Judith MacKenzie is named Small Cap Fund Manager of the Year at the Small Cap Awards for the MI Downing UK Micro-Cap Growth Fund. 
    • 2016 – Downing take over the Querns Monthly Income Fund, which is rebranded the MI Downing Monthly Income Fund and managed by James.
    • 2017 – Downing launch the Strategic Micro-Cap Investment Trust.
    • 2020 – In March, Downing Public Equity rebrands to Downing Fund Managers and launches VT Downing Unique Opportunities Fund – for new recruit Rosemary Banyard. The VT Downing Global Investors Fund is launched for Anthony Eaton. 
  • Who are Downing Fund Managers?

    VT Downing Unique Opportunities Fund managed by Rosemary Banyard. 

    Launched in March 2020, the VT Downing Unique Opportunities 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. The fund adopts 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). The fund aims to have a relatively concentrated portfolio of between 25-40 positions. 

    VT Downing Global Investors Fund managed by Anthony Eaton.

    The VT Downing Global Investors Fund is a thematic fund, that focuses on opportunities created by the expansion of the global middle class population. It aims to achieve capital and income growth over the long term, by investing in around 150 equity positions across global markets.

    MI Downing Monthly Income Fund managed by James Lynch.

    The MI Downing Monthly Income Fund aims to achieve a high level of income, together with long-term capital growth. We have a high conviction approach to income investing and the fund's strategy is to unlock value in a concentrated portfolio of profitable smaller businesses that have a sustainable competitive advantage and strong management teams - at the right price. We focus on companies whose efficient operations and strong balance sheets allow them to pay secure and growing dividends. 

    Downing Strategic Micro-Cap Investment Trust plc. managed by Judith MacKenzie.

    The Downing Strategic Micro-Cap Investment Trust seeks to provide investors with long-term capital growth through a concentrated portfolio of UK listed companies, typically with a market capitalisation below £150 million. The trust intends to take influential positions in businesses believed to be undervalued and that could benefit from strategic and operational initiatives to drive performance and unlock shareholder value.

    MI Downing UK Micro-Cap Growth Fund managed by Judith MacKenzie and Nick Hawthorn.

    The MI Downing UK Micro-Cap Growth Fund aims to invest in a concentrated portfolio of between 25-40 UK companies - typically those with market capitalisations between £20 and £350 million. The fund seeks to generate capital growth, whilst retaining a strong focus on capital preservation. We aim to outperform returns from other UK small-cap equity funds by selecting investments that we believe are undervalued by the market.

  • What are the key risks of investing with Downing Fund Managers?

    Our investment funds and trust are not suitable investments for everyone, so we recommend seeking financial advice. As with all investments, there are risks you should be aware of and comfortable with before you invest.

    • The value of your portfolio can go down as well as up so your capital is at risk and there is no guarantee you will get your investment back.
    • Any income received from your investment can rise and fall
    • The past performance of a fund/trust is not a reliable indicator of future results.
    • In difficult market conditions, the value of some investments may be less predictable than normal and the fund/trust may not be able to buy and sell these investments at the best time or at a fair price. 
    • Investments in the MI Downing Monthly Income Fund, Downing Strategic Micro-Cap Investment Trust, MI Downing UK Micro-Cap Growth Fund and VT Downing Unique Opportunities Fund are generally higher risk compared to investments in blue chip companies on a main stock exchange. The companies may be more volatile and less liquid. 
    • The VT Downing Global Investors Fund invests overseas, which can bring additional returns and spread risk to different markets. There are risks, however, that changes in currency exchange rates may cause the value of your investment to go up and down.
    • The VT Downing Global Investors Fund also invests in emerging markets or less developed countries that may face more political, economic or structural challenges than developed countries. This means your money is at greater risk.

    Please note this is only a brief overview of the risks. Read full details of all the risks here before investing. 

  • Where can I watch the latest podcasts/news and views from Downing Fund Managers?

    Podcasts

    Downing Strategic Micro-Cap Investment Trust plc

    Click here to watch the managers of the Downing Strategic Micro-Cap Growth Investment Trust give an appraisal of pre and post-Covid performance, an update on current trading and their outlook for the short, medium and longer term. They review each of the holdings and give a summary of the future prospects for what they believe is an exciting portfolio of businesses. [July 2020]

    Click here to listen to fund manager James Lynch discuss current economic conditions, the shock of covid and the strong market rally that followed. He explains why he believes this was very much driven by sentiment rather than fundamentals and why he is not investing in ‘covid winners’- those short term trades that he thinks lack long term structural support. Instead, he is focused on companies with strong balance sheets and the ability to trade through, what he believes, will be quite a protracted storm over the coming months. [July 2020]

    Click here to listen to fund manager Nick Hawthorn give an update on Volex, a recovery story that was identified early and supported through its turnaround. [July 2020]

    Click here to listen to fund manager James Lynch discuss Ramsdens, a company he believes is mispriced and misunderstood by the wider market. [July 2020]

    Click here to listen to how lead fund manager Judith MacKenzie reflects on the ‘hard yards’ put in to help transform holdings into efficient operations with exceptional management teams that are now fully fit for purpose. Judith explains that DSM is trading at a double discount, it has a resilient portfolio of underlying businesses and over £5 million of cash to deploy. She believes that the holdings have very good prospects in the post covid world, and so now could be an opportune time to consider investing in the Company. [July 2020]

    MI Downing UK Micro-Cap Growth Fund & Downing Strategic Micro-Cap Investment Trust plc

    Click here to listen to Fund Managers Judith MacKenzie and Nick Hawthorn discuss why they believe the UK micro-cap space is a great place to invest, changes made to the open-ended fund to drive performance, key differences between our strategies, and finally why now and why Downing? [July 2020]

    VT Downing Unique Opportunities Fund

    The VT Downing Unique Opportunities Fund was recently awarded Elite Radar status by Fundcalibre. In this podcast, manager Rosemary Banyard talks about what it was like launching a fund when markets were in freefall, explains the type of qualities she looks for in businesses that make them ‘unique’, and discusses some of the holdings in the portfolio. [September 2020] 

    Click here to listen to Rosemary Banyard at the recent Mello private investor event. Rosemary explains the importance of reading the fine print in annual reports and highlights some interesting points that investors can look out for to gain greater insight into companies. [July 2020]

    VT Downing Global Investors Fund

    Click here to listen to Anthony Eaton, manager of the VT Downing Global Investors Fund, give introduction to this global thematic fund and explains his investment rationale, strategy, and process for driving investor returns. [August 2020]

    Downing Fund Managers

    Click here to find out what Judith MacKenzie, Head of Downing Fund Managers, has to say on the Downing Fund Managers approach to public markets. Please note, sign up to SharingAlpha is required. [June 2020] 

    MI Downing Monthly Income Fund

    Click here to listen to James Lynch, fund manager of the MI Downing Monthly Income Fund, discuss how he finds dividend income in small-caps and how he is investing. [April 2020]

    Click here to watch a short interview with James Lynch, manager of the Downing Monthly Income Fund, as he gives his perspective on how Covid-19 has affected the economy and the impact that this has had on UK company’s ability to pay dividends. [August 2020]

Your investment fund options


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MI Downing Monthly Income Fund

The fund aims to provide investors with a high level of income by investing in c.50 companies that are typically listed on a UK stock exchange, pay dividends and have long-term capital growth prospects.

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VT Downing Unique Opportunities Fund

Launched in March 2020, this UK equity fund seeks to maximise returns to investors over the long-term, by aiming to invest in 25-40 positions across the market cap spectrum. The fund is considered ‘unique’ because it invests in businesses that can achieve above average returns on capital, based on a sustainable competitive advantage.

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VT Downing Global Investors Fund

Managed by highly experienced fund manager Anthony Eaton, this thematically invested global equity fund focuses on opportunities created by the expansion of the global middle-class population. It aims to achieve capital and income growth over the long term, by investing in over 150 equity positions across global markets.

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Downing Strategic Micro-Cap Investment Trust

The company seeks to provide investors with long-term capital growth through a concentrated portfolio of UK listed companies, typically with a market capitalisation below £150 million. The company intends to take influential positions in businesses believed to be undervalued and that could benefit from strategic and operational initiatives to drive performance and unlock shareholder value.

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MI Downing UK Micro-Cap Growth Fund

The fund aims to generate growth over the long-term, with a focus on preserving capital. The team invests in a portfolio of up to 40 UK companies listed on AIM - typically those with a market capitalisation of under £350 million* at the time of investment.

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We're here to help

If you are a financial adviser, or discretionary fund manager please call us on 020 7630 3319 or email us at sales@downing.co.uk.

If you are a private investor you can speak to our investor relationship team on 020 3828 0975 or email customer@downing.co.uk.