Andrew Vaughan has reunited with former colleague Rosemary Banyard on the VT Downing Unique Opportunities Fund (DUO). The pair formerly worked closely together at Sanford Deland where Rosemary launched and managed the CFP Free Spirit Fund (Free Spirit). Andrew took over management of Free Spirit following Rosemary’s departure from the company in 2019.
Rosemary Banyard comments: “Andrew has over 20 years of experience in the industry and proven stock-picking abilities. He will generate new ideas as we grow our AUM, but also challenge our existing positions in DUO. We share a common philosophy and investment style which focuses on very good quality businesses with strong finances, superior returns on equity and demonstrable barriers to competition.”
Examples of the ‘unique’ types of companies with the characteristics Rosemary and Andrew typically seek out include fantasy hobby miniatures company Games Workshop; Kainos, an IT provider; Tatton Asset Management, an on-platform discretionary and IFA support services group; and Diploma, a specialised technical products and services provider.
DUO is a relatively concentrated portfolio of between 25-40 positions which adopts an unconstrained approach. The fund invests in UK companies across a broad market cap spectrum but with a focus on UK mid and small-caps, including the Alternative Investment Market (AIM).
The fund recently passed its three-year anniversary, having launched into the teeth of the Covid pandemic. Since launch, the accumulation units in DUO rose by 43.6% to 30 April 2023.