Threadneedle set to soft-close Dicken’s £1bn European fund

Threadneedle is understood to be preparing a soft-close of Philip Dicken’s £1bn Pan-European Smaller Companies fund.

The group has been monitoring flows into the fund after assets swelled from £500m at the start of 2012 to over £1bn, with a view to soft-close in the coming months.

Dicken (pictured), head of European equities at Threadneedle, has guided the fund to top quartile returns in the UK Investment Management Association European Smaller Companies sector over one, three and five years to 22 February.

With returns of 28.3%, 67.8% and 72% over those respective timeframes, according to Morningstar data, the fund would also have beaten the vast majority of vehicles in the broader IMA Europe ex UK and Europe inc UK sectors over those periods.

“As we do with all our funds, we are monitoring capacity as our priority is to protect our existing clients’ interests,” a Threadneedle spokesperson said.

Threadneedle’s other fund in the sector, the European Smaller Companies fund run by Mark Heslop, has also swelled in size on strong performance and renewed optimism over the future of the eurozone.

The vehicle, which unlike Dicken’s does not invest in the UK, has increased in size from £883m at the end of 2011 to almost £1.3bn as retail investors return to the asset class.

The IMA European Smaller Companies sector as a whole enjoyed net retail sales of £118m in January 2013, according to the IMA.

The sector ranked as the sixth most popular of the 35 IMA sectors for the month – despite being home to just 14 funds.


This article was first published on Investment Week

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