Ken Wotton will replace Jeff Harris as lead manager of Strategic Equity Capital (SEC), as Gresham House Asset Management (GHAM) takes over management of the trust.
Wotton, who is managing director and head of GHAM's public equity investment team, will work alongside current fund manager Adam Khanbhai, who joined GHAM from the trust's previous management firm, GVQ Investment Management.
Harris, who initially joined GHAM alongside Khanbhai, will leave the business to pursue new opportunities. The pair had managed SEC since February 2017. The board thanked Harris for his contribution to SEC and wished him "every success in his next venture".
SEC's chair Richard Hills said Wotton's "credentials speak for themselves with a hugely impressive and top-rated track record of managing funds".
Wotton, who currently manages the LF Gresham House UK Micro Cap and LF Gresham House UK Multi Cap Income funds, said he was excited to be appointed manager alongside Khanbhai.
"Despite a turbulent backdrop of Covid-19 and Brexit negotiations, we continue to see significant opportunities for long-term investors to back quality smaller companies with strong growth prospects at attractive valuations," Wotton said.
"Utilising our specialist strategic public equity investment approach, we seek to actively engage with these companies to deliver shareholder value creation and to reduce investment risk."
SEC's board had told investors in March it would sack GVQ and appoint GHAM, which was to enter into a joint venture with Aberdeen Standard Investments (ASI) to launch funds under GHAM's public equity team.
The board today (29 September) confirmed that joint venture would no longer proceed, but GHAM was expected to enter into a distribution and marketing agreement with ASI, which will see ASI providing marketing and distribution services to SEC.
Chair of GHAM's public equity investment committee and CEO of Gresham House Tony Dalwood said GHAM had undertaken a full review over the six months since the announcement.
"The added value that we can provide to SEC includes additional resources and fund managers with successful long-term track records in order to effectively execute the engaged investment style of using private equity techniques to invest in quoted companies," Dalwood added.
In the three years to 28 September, SEC has lost 14.8%, well underperforming its IT UK Smaller Companies sector peers' average loss of 6.2% but ahead of the FTSE Small Cap ex IT index's 18.1% reverse, according to FE fundinfo.
Data from Morningstar show the trust's discount to net asset value has spiralled from 13.7% to around 20% during that period.