Insights

Job Opportunity – Portfolio and Platform Operations Manager

Square Mile are looking for a Portfolio and Platform Operations Manager to manage the operational aspects of our Managed Portfolio Service and related platform administration.

The candidate will be expected to have a number of years of experience of platforms and a knowledge of centralised investment propositions and the management of model portfolios on platforms.

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New Invesco Perpetual Talking Factsheet Added to the Academy

We have added a new Talking Factsheet to the Square Mile Academy of Funds, featuring Research Team Manager, Amaya Assan, reviewing the objectives and risks and giving her views of the Invesco Perpetual Asian fund.

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Update on the Trojan Income team

Despite the recent news that one of the fund's deputy managers, Mark Wharrier, has left Troy Asset Management (TAM) we have decided not to make any changes to the fund's AA rating. Mr Wharrier joined TAM during 2017 and although he has lengthy experience of running UK equity income mandates, we do not believe his departure will materially impact the management of this strategy.

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Fund Rating Suspension

We have decided to suspend the AA Rating of the BlackRock Continental European Income fund. This follows the news today that co-manager, Alice Gaskell, had decided to take a break from fund management to spend more time with her family. Andreas Zoellinger will continue to manage the strategy and has been a co-manager of this fund since its launch in 2011.

We would prefer to give Mr Zoellinger and the European equity team some time to settle down following this development and understand any changes this might bring in terms of the wider research and fund management resources.

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Equiniti appoints Square Mile for online 'guided' funds service launch

Equiniti, one of the UK's leading providers of financial service solutions to businesses and individuals, has appointed Square Mile Investment Consulting and Research as the provider of funds due diligence for its online execution-only guidance service.

The service will give Equiniti access to a guided panel of funds, as well as offering ongoing fund selection, due diligence and quarterly reporting. From the 350 rated funds available in the Square Mile Academy of Funds, ten have been carefully selected to fulfill Equiniti's specifications on Cautious, Balanced and Growth mandates.

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Fund Rating Removal

We have taken the decision to remove our 'Positive Prospect' recommendation from the Legg Mason Brandywine Global Income Optimiser fund.

Whilst we continue to like the fixed income team at Brandywine, we have been monitoring the Income Optimiser fund for a number of years now, and this has not been a straightforward period for the fund. In particular, the hedging strategy did not stabilise capital values as well as we had hoped in 2015 and over the last 12 months. The fund has also been unable to attract a meaningful weight of UK assets.

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Manager of the AXA Framlington UK Select Opportunities fund to retire

Following the announcement that Nigel Thomas, manager of the AXA Framlington UK Select Opportunities fund is due to retire in March 2019, long-standing team member, Chris St John, will assume responsibility for the management of this fund on 31st December 2018.

We view this as a sensible appointment and as the incumbent manager remains at the helm of the fund, we will therefore not be changing our AAA rating at present. We hold Mr St John in high regard, as reflected by our A rating on the AXA Framlington UK Mid Cap fund, a strategy which he manages.

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New Old Mutual Talking Factsheets Added to the Academy

We have added four new Talking Factsheets to the Square Mile Academy of Funds, featuring Research Team Manager, John Monaghan, reviewing the objectives and risks and giving his views of the funds.

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Update on the Aberdeen Standard Investments UK Equity team

Aberdeen Standard Investments have announced a number of changes to their UK equities desk. Karen McKellar, manager of the Standard Life Investments UK Equity High Income fund, has decided to retire, whilst Henry Flockhart, manager of the Standard Life Investments UK Equity High Alpha fund, and support services and real estate analyst, Adam McInally, have left the business.

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New Premier Talking Factsheets Added to the Academy

We have added two new Talking Factsheets to the Square Mile Academy of Funds, featuring Head of Risk Based Solutions Research, Alex Farlow, reviewing the objectives and risks and giving his views of these funds.

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