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Standard Life UK Smaller Companies Proposes Name Change – Roger Lawson says Vote Against!

This article represents the views of its author, not necessarily those of ShareSoc.

The Standard Life UK Smaller Companies Trust (SLS) is proposing to change its name. The managers are currently Aberdeen Standard Fund Managers Limited but the name “Standard Life” has been sold to Phoenix Group so a change of name is not unreasonable.

Of course this is the kind of problem that arises when a trust is named after the fund manager. It also causes problems if the board of directors of the trust decides to change the manager which is not a rare event. Much better to choose a unique name which is not associated with the manager and which makes a good trade mark.

Investment trusts should not appear to be poodles of the fund manager which using the manager’s name gives the impression is the case.

What is the proposed new name? It’s “abrdn UK Smaller Companies Growth Trust Plc” (and no, that’s not a typo – just the modern idiot fashion to decapitalise names). The word “abrdn” is the new name for the Aberdeen Group.

I recommend shareholders vote against this proposal and ask the directors to come up with a better name that they alone own, as I shall be doing. As an exercise in rebranding the proposed new name is not a good choice however one looks at it.

Roger Lawson (Twitter: https://twitter.com/RogerWLawson  )

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