Meet the Managers

The Merchants Trust is managed by Simon Gergel who is head of the UK Equity team at AllianzGI and specialises in managing UK equity income portfolios. He is supported by a dedicated team of fund managers and analysts.

Simon Gergel

Portfolio Manager

Simon joined AllianzGI in April 2006 from HSBC Halbis Partners where he managed over £900m in high income funds as well as core institutional and life UK equity portfolios. Prior to joining HSBC in 2001, Simon worked for 14 years at Phillips & Drew Fund Management / UBS Asset Management where he was involved in all aspects of UK equity fund management, including research, portfolio management and account director roles. He graduated in 1987 from Cambridge University with an honours degree in mathematics and is an associate of the UK Society of Investment Professionals.

Meet the Board

Board of Directors

The Merchants Trust board is particularly experienced as its directors also sit on the boards of a number of large companies. So as well as providing shareholders with the reassurance of a diligent environment of checks and balances, they also provide the Trust with invaluable knowledge and economic insight.

Board of Directors

Simon Fraser


Joined the board in August 2009 and became Chairman in 2010. He is Chairman of Foreign & Colonial Investment Trust PLC, The Investor Forum and McInroy and Wood. He spent his career at Fidelity International Limited, where he held a number of positions, including Chief Investment Officer from 1999-2005, President of Fidelity International’s European and UK Institutional business and latterly President of the Investment Solutions Group.

Mary Ann Sieghart

Non-executive Director

Joined the board in November 2014. She is Chair of the Social Market Foundation, and a trustee of the Kennedy Memorial Trust, also holding other voluntary posts. Mary Ann is a political journalist and broadcaster and was formerly Assistant Editor of The Times, a Lex Columnist at the Financial Times and City Editor of Today. She has been appointed a Visiting Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford for the academic year 2018-19.

Sybella Stanley

Non-executive Director, Senior Independent Director

Joined the board in November 2014. She is Director of Corporate Finance at RELX Group plc, where she manages RELX Group’s global mergers and acquisitions programmes, and is a non-executive director of Tate & Lyle PLC. Sybella is also a Member of the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s Industrial Development Advisory Board and a member of the Development Board of Somerville College, Oxford. Before joining RELX Group in 1997, Sybella was a member of the M&A advisory teams at, successively, Citi and Barings. Sybella is a barrister.

Paul Yates

Non-executive Director

Joined the board in March 2011. He is Chairman of the Advisory Board of 33 St James’s Limited and is a non-executive director of Aberdeen Diversified Income and Growth Trust plc, Fidelity European Values PLC and Witan Investment Trust PLC. He has had a long career in investment management beginning at Samuel Montagu & Co in 1980. He joined Phillips and Drew in 1985 – the year that it was acquired by UBS. He held a number of positions at UBS, covering management, portfolio management, pensions, strategy and client service. He was CEO of UBS Global Asset Management (UK) Limited between 2001 and 2005. After undertaking a number of global roles at UBS he retired in 2007.

Timon Drakesmith

Non-executive Director, Chairman of the Audit Committee

Joined the board in November 2016. He is an executive director and Chief Financial Officer of Hammerson plc. Timon is also Managing Director of Hammerson’s Premium Outlets business and in that capacity is a non-executive director of Value Retail PLC and is Chairman of Via Outlets advisory and investment committees. He was formerly Finance Director of Great Portland Estates plc and Group Director of Financial Operations of Novar plc. He is a Chartered Accountant and has held previous financial roles at Credit Suisse, Barclays and Deloitte Haskins and Sells.

Meet the Allianz Global Investors Team

Matthew Tillett

Deputy Trust Manager

Matthew is the lead portfolio manager on the UK Opportunities strategy but works with Simon Gergel in the UK team sourcing ideas for the Merchants portfolio. Matthew joined AllianzGI in 2006 as part of the Global Graduate Program. In 2007 he joined the Research Department as a pan-European media analyst and in 2008 he moved to portfolio management as part of the UK Equity Team. Prior to joining AllianzGI, Matthew worked at Datamonitor and the Office for National Statistics. He graduated from Bristol University with a first class degree in Economics and Economic History. He also holds a masters (with distinction) in International Political Economy from the London School of Economics. Matthew holds the IMC designation and is a CFA® charterholder.

Andrew Neville

Portfolio Manager

Andrew joined AllianzGI in July 2004 as a portfolio manager specialising in UK small and mid-cap company portfolios. Andrew joined AllianzGI from Baring Asset Management where he managed the Baring UK Smaller Companies Trust as well as a number of UK smaller companies institutional mandates. Prior to joining Baring, Andrew trained as a portfolio manager at AIB Govett Asset Management. Andrew qualified as a chartered accountant whilst working at Deloitte & Touche and graduated from Imperial College with a B Eng.

Matthew Hall

Portfolio Analyst

Matthew joined AllianzGI in 2009 as part of the Global Graduate Program. In 2011 he joined the UK Equity Team as a Mid Cap analyst, and the Research Department as a Grassroots Associate. Prior to joining AllianzGI, Matthew worked as an intern at Russell Investments. He graduated from Southampton University with a first class degree in Mathematics. He also holds a masters (with distinction) in Investment Management from Cass Business School. Matthew has passed all three levels of the CFA®.

Adam Gent

Managing Director, Head of Retail/Wholesale Northern Europe

Stephanie Hocking

Marketing & Investor Relations Manager, Investment Trusts

Kirsten Salt

Company Secretary

Sarah Woodcock

Investor Services

© Allianz Global Investors GmbH 2018, Registered Office: Frankfurt am Main, Register: HRB 9340, Local court: Frankfurt am Main. All Rights Reserved. The Merchants Trust PLC is incorporated in England and Wales. (Company registration no. 28276). Registered Office: 199 Bishopsgate, London, EC2M 3TY. The Company is a member of the Association of Investment Companies - Category: UK Equity Income.