Puma AIM IHT ISA

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This AIM IHT service is managed by Puma Investments, part of Shore Capital, one of the largest AIM market makers. It is a discretionary investment portfolio of around 25-35 companies which are expected to qualify for Business Property Relief.

On 30 April 2021, Puma Investments announced the departure of Justin Waine, the service's Investment Director. Justin joined Puma investments in June 2014 and launched the AIM IHT service the following month. 

Puma Investments has since appointed Dr Stuart Rollason to head up the AIM IHT service. Dr Rollason is an experienced small and mid-cap investment professional, with 20 years’ experience. He joins from Kestrel Partners LLP, where he led the management of the AIM IHT service for a decade.

The service currently has £86 million in assets under management (July 2021).

Important: The information on this website is for experienced investors. It is not advice nor a research or personal recommendation to invest. If you’re unsure, please seek advice. Investments are for the long term. They are high risk and illiquid and can fall as well as rise in value, so you could get back less than you invest.

Read important documents and apply

Highlights

  • Focused portfolio of 25 to 35 AIM-quoted companies
  • Often family-owned or founder-controlled firms
  • Minimum investment £20,000
  • Available both in an ISA and outside an ISA

The manager

The Puma AIM IHT service is managed by Puma Investments, part of the Shore Capital group. Puma Investments has £1.4 billion in assets under management, of which £86 million is held within the AIM IHT service.

In April 2021, Justin Waine, the service's Investment Director stepped down after seven years. Puma Investments appointed Dr Stuart Rollason as his replacement. Dr Rollason is an experienced small and mid-cap investment professional, with 20 years’ experience. He joins from Kestrel Partners LLP, where he led the management of the AIM IHT service for a decade. Dr Rollason is supported by Joseph Cornwall, investment analyst, who joined Puma in August 2021.

Investment strategy

Dr Stuart Rollason will continue the same strategy employed under Justin Waine. However, the number of holdings in the portfolio is expected to increase.

The service targets mature AIM businesses screened across three key metrics: quality, growth and value. Capital preservation is also a priority.

The strategy focuses on companies with sensible management, particularly those with a stake in the business. Companies will be selected for their potential to generate returns exceeding the cost of capital - not guaranteed.

In addition, the portfolio seeks companies with sustainable margins, sales and profit growth and a sensible balance sheet. Having a cheap valuation isn’t the most important factor for Puma. A strong balance sheet, with limited gearing, is more important, in its view. The firm looks at companies with a market cap of at least £50 million.

The targeted hold period for investments is three to five years but longer positions will be considered if the company continues to improve and valuations remain sensible. Holdings will be sold when companies reach what Puma considers to be an appropriate fair value or if the investment team change its view on a stock. Puma believes it is better to exit a position sooner – even if this results in a loss – than potentially incur a greater loss later on.

Portfolio

Investors will each hold a portfolio of around 25-35 shares. This is currently a relatively concentrated portfolio when compared with its peers. Each portfolio aims to closely mirror the investment director’s own portfolio but individual portfolios will vary.

The portfolio seeks to be fully invested in AIM shares, with only a small cash position (approximately 2-5%). The average position size is 2% to 6%, with no position expected to be greater than 10% of the portfolio.

The portfolio avoids early-stage companies such as loss-making miners, biotechnology companies and high-growth concept stocks, as well as small companies with a market cap under £50 million.

Currently, the average market capitalisation of companies in the portfolio is £655 million (September 2021). The chart below shows the portfolio sector breakdown for the top 10 sectors, which together account for c.87% of the portfolio. 

Sector breakdown (%)

Source: Puma Investments, 30 September 2021.

Market capitalisation breakdown (%)

Source: Puma Investments, 30 September 2021.

Examples of portfolio companies

Focusrite – Puma AIM IHT ISAFocusrite

Established in 1989, Focusrite has developed a range of high-quality audio recording and production equipment. Due to the diversity of its products, the company caters to a wide audience, from casual artists to professional studios. 

Its products have been used for festivals, such as for multiple stages at Glastonbury, tours, theatre productions, and occasionally for church services. So far, the company has expanded to more than 160 territories globally and has grown revenues from £48 million (FY 2015) to £130.1 million (FY 2020). The company will look to enter new forms of media such as podcasting and streaming, as well as acquiring businesses that offer strategic and cultural advantages. 

Puma invested in the company due to the strength of its brand and diversified customer base. The company is the largest holding within the portfolio, accounting for 7.5% of the portfolio (September 2021).

Renew Holdings – Puma AIM IHTRenew Holdings

Over two centuries old, Renew Holdings has a certain pedigree within the services industry. Its largest business is providing engineering support to companies within energy, environmental and infrastructure sectors. This can include everything from nuclear decommissioning to building flood defences and maintaining rail networks. 

Puma invested due to the company's specialisation, revenue diversity, and growth potential. The company is expected to benefit from a number of government-backed incentives such as the £3 billion per annum nuclear decommissioning programme as well as Network Rail's £48 billion plan to improve rail infrastructure over the next four years.

Renew Holdings is currently the third largest holding in the portfolio (September 2021) with a weighting of 7.03%. 

Patisserie Holdings plc

As is to be expected, not all investments work out. A recent example is Patisserie Holdings plc.

Patisserie Holdings plc was formally placed into administration in January 2019 following the discovery of extensive fraudulent accounting irregularities back in October 2018. The shares have been marked down to zero with no return expected for shareholders.

Performance

The chart below shows performance over five years compared with other AIM IHT portfolios available through Wealth Club. Like other IHT portfolios, this is a discretionary managed service so each portfolio is likely to be different. 

Five year cumulative performance to 30 September 2021

The default view is the performance for this particular offer. You'll be able to see the performance of other AIM ISA offers if you click on the portfolio names above. Source: Puma and other AIM ISA managers. Performance is shown net of fees, excluding initial charges, with dividends reinvested, based on the average portfolio performance across the service, except for Puma and Fundamental which shows the performance of one example portfolio. Past performance is not a guide to the future. Dividends are variable and not guaranteed.

Five-year discrete performance

AIM IHT portfolio YTD 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 Five years to 30 September 2021
Puma AIM IHT 26.3% 2.8% 24.2% -20.1% 15.2% 5% 61.56%

See five-year discrete performance comparison of all available AIM IHT portfolios

Access to your investment

Investments in this portfolio are for the long term. However, if your circumstances change, you can request partial or full withdrawals from the portfolio at any time, subject to liquidity. In normal market conditions, Puma aims to fulfill withdrawal requests within two weeks but this is not guaranteed.

Risks – important

This, like all investments available through Wealth Club, is only for experienced investors happy to make their own investment decisions without advice.

AIM IHT portfolios are high-risk so should only form part of a balanced portfolio and you should not invest money you cannot afford to lose. Before you invest, please carefully read the Risks and Commitments and the offer documents to ensure you fully understand the risks. 

AIM stocks can be hard to sell, particularly at the smaller end of the market, and can be illiquid. AIM shares can be very volatile especially if the market falls sharply. The difference between the buying and selling price of AIM quoted shares is often wider than the spread for shares listed on the main market.

Tax rules can change and benefits depend on circumstances. Eligibility for BPR is assessed at the date of death and will depend on the companies in the portfolio remaining qualifying.  Broadly speaking, you will need to have held a BPR qualifying stock for at least two years and still hold it on death to qualify.

Treasury review

A previous Chancellor requested a review of IHT to simplify the tax system. A report was published in July 2019, but this has not yet led to any rule changes. Please remember, tax rules can and do change and benefits depend on circumstances.

Charges

A summary of the main charges and savings is shown below. The investment may have additional charges and expenses:  Please see the provider documents for more details. If you would like a full breakdown or a personal illustration, please let us know.

Full initial charge 4%
Wealth Club initial saving 3%
Net initial charge through Wealth Club 1%
Annual management charge 2% plus VAT
Dealing fees 1%
Performance fee nil
Exit fee nil

See example of the total charges over 5 years

Our view

The service targets mature AIM businesses screened across three key metrics: quality, growth and value. Notably, the portfolio steers clear of the AIM market’s increasing number of early-stage businesses, biotechnology businesses, and high growth concept stocks. The resulting portfolio is spread across a variety of sectors and has a bias towards businesses operating within Electronic Equipment and Construction and Materials. 

The service has followed the same strategy since its inception, however, following the departure of Justin Waine in 2021, the team has been refreshed. The service’s current investment director, Stuart Rollason, was previously a Partner at Kestrel Partners LLP where he led their AIM IHT service for a decade. While Stuart adds experience, it should be noted that this is a small and recently formed team. 

See five-year performance of shares mentioned above

Wealth Club aims to make it easier for experienced investors to find information on – and apply for – tax-efficient investments. You should base your investment decision on the provider's documents and ensure you have read and fully understand them before investing. This review is a marketing communication. It is not advice or a personal or research recommendation to buy the investment mentioned. It does not satisfy legal requirements promoting investment research independence and is thus not subject to prohibitions on dealing ahead of its dissemination.

The details

Portfolio size
£100.0 million
Average market cap
£643.0 million
Initial charge
4.0%
Saving via Wealth Club
3.0%
Net initial charge
1.0%
AMC
2.0%
Last updated: 25 November 2021