Harry Nimmo returns to Aberdeen Standard fund as Alan Rowsell exits

‘It’s a shame that Alan is leaving, but the fund could not be left in better hands.’

Harry Nimmo abrdn


Aberdeen Standard Investments Global Smaller Companies fund manager Alan Rowsell and analyst Imogen Harris have left the company in a move that sees Harry Nimmo return to co-manage the fund he launched in 2012.

Nimmo (pictured) was manager of the strategy alongside Rowsell at launch in January 2012 but he stood down in December 2016, leaving Rowsell, an investment director at ASI, as the sole manager.

The departure of Rowsell after 14 years with the firm means Nimmo has returned to manage the Oeic and Sicav of the fund alongside Kirsty Desson, the existing co-manager.

Fundcalibre managing director Darius McDermott said the fund had lost its elite rating because the score was based on Rowsell’s tenure. But, he added Fundcalibre has confidence in Nimmo and Desson’s fund management skills, meaning the fund will be put on the firm’s radar until a new three-year track record has been achieved.

McDermott said: “It’s a shame that Alan is leaving, but the fund could not be left in better hands. Harry was the co-manager at launch and has considerable experience and success running smaller companies funds. Co-manager Kirsty Desson was appointed relatively recently, but has been involved in the fund for some time.”

By contrast, AJ Bell said while the departure of Roswell was a surprise, it is keeping the fund on its favourite funds list due to the strength of the team and the return of Nimmo.

AJ Bell head of active portfolios Ryan Hughes said: “The fact that the hugely experienced Harry Nimmo has been re-appointed to the fund to work alongside Kirsty Desson is a positive given how he has managed the fund previously and been leading the small cap team until very recently.

“As a result, he has first-hand knowledge of the approach and should bring important continuity to the fund.”

In February, Nimmo announced he was stepping back as ASI’s global head of smaller companies after 27 years in the role as he took the lead on a the Global Mid Cap Equity fund which was launched in April with Anjli Shah as co-manager.

Kirsty Desson

Fairview Investing investment consultant Ben Yearsley said the transition should be seamless for investors, but questioned whether the move will “blur the line” with the recently-launched global mid cap fund which holds smaller companies that have graduated to mid-cap status.

Aberdeen Standard Investments head of smaller companies Andrew Paisley said Nimmo and Desson have extensive experience of the strategy and global smaller companies markets.

“Harry launched the strategy in 2012 and was co-manager on the strategy between 2012 and 2017. Kirsty is a highly experienced portfolio manager and has been a key member of the smaller companies team since 2012. She has been an important contributor to the Global Smaller Companies Fund and has generated some of the best ideas for the strategy.  She has worked in the industry for over 16 years.

“We would like to thank both Alan and Imogen for their contributions to our smaller companies franchise.”


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