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.

Matthew Tillett

Deputy Trust Manager

Matthew is lead portfolio manager for Brunner. He is also the lead portfolio manager on the UK Opportunities strategy. 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.

Richard Knight

Portfolio Manager

Richard is the co-manager of the Allianz UK Equity Income Fund and the deputy manager of the Allianz UK Opportunities Fund. Richard joined Allianz Global Investors in 2014 as part of the Global Graduate Program. In 2016 he joined the European Equity Research team as an analyst covering companies in the media and telecommunication sectors, before moving to portfolio management as part of the Value & Income Team in early 2018. Prior to joining the Graduate Program, Richard worked as an intern in emerging market equity portfolio management. Richard graduated from Lincoln College, Oxford University, with a degree in History and Politics, and holds a masters (with distinction) in Global Economic History from the London School of Economics. He is a CFA® charterholder.


Meet the Board

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.

Colin Clark


Joined the board in June 2019 and became Chairman in September 2019. He is Chairman of the boards of AXA Investment Managers UK Ltd and AXA Investment Managers GS Ltd, a non-executive director of AXA IM SA global board and a non-executive director of Rathbone Brothers Plc. Colin has had a 35 year career in asset and wealth management. His most recent executive roles were from 2010 at Standard Life Investments and as an executive director of Standard Life Plc where he was responsible for the Global Client Group. Prior to this he was with Mercury Asset Management, Merrill Lynch Investment Managers and S.G.Warburg & Co.

Timon Drakesmith

Non-executive Director, Chairman of the Audit Committee

Joined the board in November 2016. Timon is Chief Financial Officer of Carbon Trust. He was formerly the Chief Financial Officer of Hammerson plc, and prior to that the 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.

Karen McKellar

Non-executive Director

Joined the board in May 2020. Karen has had a long career as an investment manager at Standard Life, managing the Standard Life Equity Income Investment Trust as well as several large UK equity open-ended funds.

Mary Ann Sieghart

Non-executive Director

Joined the board in November 2014. Mary Ann is Chair of the Social Market Foundation and a non-executive director of Pantheon International Plc. She is a trustee of the Kennedy Memorial Trust and a trustee and Investment Committee Chair of The Scott Trust, the owner of the Guardian and the Observer newspapers. Mary Ann also holds various other voluntary posts. She was previously senior independent director of The Henderson Smaller Companies Investment Trust plc. 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 was 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 Co-Chair 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.


Meet the Allianz Global Investors Team

Stephanie Carbonneil

Managing Director, Head of Investment Trusts

Kirsten Salt

Company Secretary

© Allianz Global Investors GmbH 2021, 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.