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Downing Strategic Micro-cap Investment Trust (DSM) looks to provide investors with long-term capital growth by investing in small, listed companies - typically with a market cap below £150 million at initial investment.

Judith MacKenzie | Nick Hawthorn

Management team

DSM is managed by Judith MacKenzie and Nick Hawthorn of Downing Fund Managers, a boutique investment house founded in 2010. Judith and Nick employ a value-based style that favours a private equity approach to investing in public markets.

DSM takes influential positions in businesses that are believed to be undervalued and might benefit from strategic and operational initiatives to drive performance and unlock shareholder value. The Board of Directors includes Non-Executive Chairman Hugh Aldous, and Non-Executive Directors Robert Legget and Linda Bell.

Investment managers

Judith MacKenzie, Investment Manager at Downing LLP
Judith MacKenzie
Investment Manager

Judith joined Downing in October 2009. Previously she was a partner at Acuity Capital managing AIM-quoted VCT and IHT investments and a small-cap activist fund. Prior to Acuity, Judith spent nine years as a senior investment manager with Aberdeen Asset Management Growth Capital as Co-Fund Manager of the five Aberdeen VCT, focusing on technology and media investments in both listed and private companies. Judith is Chair of the Quoted Companies Alliance and is an active member on boards both in the private and public arenas. Judith founded Downing Fund Managers in 2010, the boutique investment arm of Downing LLP.

Nick Hawthorn, Investment Manager at Downing LLP
Nick Hawthorn
Investment Manager

Nick joined Downing in September 2015 from BP Investment Management and co-manages the Downing Strategic Micro-Cap Investment Trust. Prior to BPIM, he worked for Aberdeen Asset Management. Nick holds an MSc in Finance and Investment from Durham University and a MA in Accounting and Economics from the University of Aberdeen.

Cheryl Vickers, Investment Operations Director at Downing LLP
Cheryl Vickers
Investment Operations Director

Cheryl joined Downing in 2010 from Rathbones where she gained over 12 years’ experience working on VCT, EIS and IHT portfolio services. Cheryl provides portfolio support and oversight to the Downing Fund Managers strategies. She is a graduate of Keele University and is a Chartered FCSI.

The Board of Directors

Hugh Aldous, Non-Executive Chairman at Downing LLP
Hugh Aldous
Non-Executive Chairman

Hugh is also chairman of the board of a Guernsey investment company and a director of Draper Esprit VCT. Until May 2020, he spent 15 years as a director and chaired corporate governance of a US (Nasdaq) listed corporation, and until July 2018, he was a director and audit committee chairman of a UK listed fund management company. He has held various directorships, some as chairman or executive chairman, in a number of both private and listed companies. His career includes 35 years of directorships across different sectors, ranging from nationalised industries to private equity. He spent 32 years as a partner, 10 years as managing partner, and latterly Head of Financial Services at Robson Rhodes (now Grant Thornton). He was also a DTI Companies Act Inspector for over 16 years and was a member of the UK Monopolies & Mergers Competition Commission.

Robert Legget, Non-Executive Director at Downing LLP
Robert Legget
Non-Executive Director

Robert has extensive industry experience, having co-founded Progressive Value Management Ltd (PVML) in 2000. PVML specialises in creating value and liquidity for institutional investors out of holdings in underperforming companies. He is chairman of PVML and is also a senior independent director of Sureserve Group PLC. Robert was formerly a director of Quayle Munro Holdings PLC and BMO Private Equity Trust PLC (formerly the F&C Private Equity Trust PLC). He is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland and is well-respected for his significant experience in creating value for shareholders.

Linda Bell, Non-Executive Director at Downing LLP
Linda Bell
Non-Executive Director

Linda has extensive management experience, working both in public and private equity markets. She is currently the CEO of Mirico Ltd, a company commercialising laser spectroscopy into individual applications. She was formerly CEO of PhosphonicS Ltd (acquired by  Carbosynth Holdings Ltd in 2017), and a director of Tomra Systems ASA, a supplier of recycling and sorting equipment listed in Norway. She is an Oxford graduate in Natural Sciences (Chemistry) and a DPhil in Organic Chemistry, and worked at ICI, Servomex and DS Smith earlier in her career.

About Downing

At Downing, our funds, investment trusts and tax-efficient products are designed to provide rewarding opportunities for our clients while helping to create a sustainable future for all.