This blog gives you the latest topical news plus some informal comments on them from ShareSoc’s directors and other contributors. These are the personal comments of the authors and not necessarily the considered views of ShareSoc. The writers may hold shares in the companies mentioned. You can add your own comments on the blog posts, but note that ShareSoc reserves the right to remove or edit comments where they are inappropriate or defamatory.

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:  )

  1. Richard Bryan says:

    Like you, Roger, I voted against, but it passed with only 1.35% against (RNS on 21Oct).
    I see there were rather more (14.4%) against resolution 14, “Authority to sell shares from treasury at a discount to net asset value ” (subject to certain limits), which will be dilutive for existing shareholders, and for which no justification was made in the AR. Presumably the intention is to increase the size of the trust and hence the manager’s fee.

  2. rogerwlawson says:

    Clearly most investors in the trust are brain dead. I have been selling some of my holdings in it as a result.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.