New Unicorn Talking Factsheet has been added to the Academy of Funds

We have added a new Talking Factsheet to the Square Mile Academy of Funds, featuring Investment Research Analyst, Paul Angell reviewing the objectives and risks and giving his view of the fund below:

Unicorn Ethical Income Fund - This fund benefits from a series of exclusion based screens in order to ethically invest for income in smaller and medium sized UK companies.


IA Responsible Investment Framework

The Investment Association has recently launched the first industry-agreed framework for common approaches to responsible investment (“Responsible Investment Framework”). This Framework categorises, and provides standard definitions for, the different components of responsible investment. This report accompanies the Framework and is intended to provide context, guidance and uses for the Framework as well as outline next steps and raise outstanding questions. 

To find out more information download the Final Report or visit the Investment Assocation's website.

Investec Emerging Markets Equity fund removed from the Academy of Funds

We have decided to remove our A rating of the Investec Emerging Markets Equity fund. Since the launch of this fund in 2012, the manager has struggled to meet his performance objective. Whilst some funds may have certain style factors which can lead to them lagging the market at various points in the cycle, one of the attractions of this fund was that it has a process that considers a range of key factors designed to help deliver performance through the cycle. Unfortunately, this has not been the case and our conviction in the approach employed to deliver on the manager’s objective, has waned over time. The emerging markets equity universe is a dynamic and competitive space, with a number of experienced managers and proven investment processes. At present, we feel that there are more attractive strategies on offer.

Franklin UK Mid Cap fund removed from the Academy of Funds

After an extensive and successful career, this fund’s longstanding manager, Paul Spencer, will be retiring in September 2020. In preparation for his departure, he will be handing over the management of the Franklin UK Mid Cap fund to Richard Bullas on 30th June 2020. Mr Bullas is lead manager of the Franklin UK Smaller Companies fund and has worked as part of the Franklin UK Small and Mid Cap team since January 2000.

Following this announcement, we have decided to remove the fund’s A rating, as although we acknowledge Mr Bullas’ experience of running UK small cap strategies, we believe Mr Spencer to be integral to the fund’s rating. Once the changes in manager have had time to settle, we will revisit the fund and the broader team.

We would like to take this opportunity to recognise Mr Spencer’s contribution to the industry and wish him a long and happy retirement from September.

Comgest Growth Europe ex UK Awarded an A Rating

We are pleased to award the Comgest Growth Europe ex UK fund with an A Rating. This fund’s managers seek to invest in high quality companies that they believe have strong and sustainable growth prospects. We believe this is an attractive, long-term offering for investors seeking exposure to European equities.

Rating Change for Kames Ethical Cautious Managed

We are pleased to announce that we have reintroduced Kames Ethical Cautious Managed into the Academy of Funds with a Responsible A rating. The fund was suspended following a number of senior departures from the fixed income team in 2018. Since then, Kames have made a number of senior hires to replace those who left the team. Importantly, the fund’s well regarded fund managers, Audrey Ryan and Iain Buckle, continue to run the fund as they always have and we are now comfortable reinstating the fund's rating.

Responsible Ratings Change - Stewart Investors Asia Pacific Leaders, Asia Pacific Sustainability, Indian Subcontinent Sustainability and Worldwide Sustainability

We have decided to remove our suspension of the ratings of the following funds, after our update with David Gait, who co-manages these funds with other team members of the Sustainable Funds Group within Stewart Investors. Mr Gait is joint Managing Partner of the firm. Whilst we feel reassured that the recent team departures have been managed in an efficient manner, we would like to see a period of stability within the wider Stewart Investors group, such that it does not, for instance, have an impact on the quality of idea generation, which can happen on occasion when there are changes in portfolio management and/or research teams.   Stewart Investors Asia Pacific Leaders fund – Previously Responsible AAA Rating changed to Responsible AA Rating Stewart Investors Asia Pacific Sustainability fund – Previously Suspended Responsible AAA Rating changed to Responsible AA Rating Stewart Investors Indian Subcontinent Sustainability fund – Suspended Responsible AA Rating to Responsible AA Rat ...

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PIMCO Select UK Income & BNY Mellon Sustainable Global Dynamic Bond Introduced to the Academy of Funds

We are pleased to announce the reintroduction of the PIMCO Select UK Income fund to our Academy at an A rating. We have now met with the fund's new lead manager, Eve Tournier, and are confident that she will continue to run the fund in line with the sensible income focus that the fund's investors have become accustomed to. She is backed by the vast PIMCO resources as well as two experienced co-managers, Andrews Balls and Ketish Pothalingam on this fund.  We are also pleased to announce that we have awarded a Responsible Positive Prospect rating to the BNY Mellon Sustainable Global Dynamic Bond fund. Square Mile Responsible ratings are awarded to funds which include within their objectives or mandates an element that explicitly aims to have a positive impact on society and/or the environment, as well as to deliver on their stated financial objective. In our view, this fund meets this requirement. Launched in February 2019, this is the sister fund of the Square Mile AA rated Global Dynamic ...

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Get to know some faces of the future

Square Mile talked to some of the fund management faces of the future on their background, career path and what they like to do outside of work and this is what they said...

Square Mile partners with FE fundinfo to launch fund dashboard

Square Mile and FE fundinfo are to assist financial advisers in their fund selection through the launch of a Fund Dashboard. The fund dashboard is an easy-to-interpret overview of core fund information designed to help advisers assess a fund’s ability to meet clients’ investment objectives. A joint venture between Square Mile and FE fundinfo, two leading specialists in fund analysis, the Fund Dashboard aims to deliver a significant amount of information in an easily understood format and is the result of a broad industry consultation to determine which aspects should be included. The resulting development aims to provide a comprehensive view of key fund characteristics to support informed fund selection based on five key elements: • Opinion: A combination of a qualitative and quantitative assessment of a fund’s ability to meet its objectives through Square Mile’s Fund Ratings and FE fundinfo’s Crown Fund Ratings respectively. • Performance: A representation o ...

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