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Questor: this 22pc discount can’t last – and the new manager is motivated to deliver 

Stock market prices
The Montanaro UK Smaller Companies trust is subject to a 'continuation vote'

Samuel Johnson's observation that “when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully” does not apply literally to the managers of today’s investment trust pick, but there is at least a passing similarity.

The actual fate that could await the team that runs the Montanaro UK Smaller Companies trust is that shareholders could vote to wind it up, putting them out of a job.

It’s not unusual for trusts to stage such votes, but what makes this one interesting is that the portfolio currently trades at a wide discount. If it fails to narrow before the poll, shareholders could be encouraged vote for a wind-up, which would take place at much closer to net asset value, effectively eliminating the discount and handing them an instant profit.

If, on the other hand, the discount does narrow between now and the vote, they are in line for a windfall from the rising share...

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