Insights

7IM Team Change

Following the news that 7IM Chief Investment Officer, Chris Darbyshire, has left the business, Square Mile is retaining its 'Recommended" rating on the AAP and Multi-Manager fund ranges. We retain conviction in the investment team as they follow a collegiate approach and therefore have a relatively low level of associated key man risk.

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Square Mile introduces the Dodge & Cox Global Stock fund to the Square Mile Academy of Funds

We are pleased to introduce the Dodge & Cox Global Stock fund to the Academy of Funds with an A rating.

This is a strategy managed by a firm that may be less well known in the UK and Europe, but which is a highly regarded organisation in the US, with a history dating back to 1930. Whilst this fund was launched in May 2008 (with a UCITS launch in 2009), it is an additional strategy to the firm's pre-existing equity range, US (1965) and International ex US (2001) funds, drawing upon the same investment ethos and established analyst resource.

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New Talking Factsheet - CF Woodford Equity Income

We have added a new Talking Factsheet to the Square Mile Academy of Funds, featuring Research Manager John Monaghan reviewing the objectives and risks and giving his view of the fund: 

CF Woodford Equity Income - A UK equity fund that is managed on an absolute return basis with a longer term investment horizon. 

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Ratings change to the Henderson European Focus & Henderson European Selected Opportunities

Following the news this week of the impending departures in January 2018 of three members of the Henderson Pan European Equity team, we have decided to suspend the two funds. We have a meeting with the team head and the funds' manager, John Bennett, over the coming weeks and will seek to gain greater clarity on the situation and Mr Bennett's plans for the future.

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Chinese Evolution

The strength of emerging market economic growth this century has been well documented, as has the shift, broadly speaking, from commodity and manufacturing based economies to ones more supported by shifting demographics and the burgeoning middle class, which has been central to supporting domestic change. The current MSCI EM index is heavily skewed towards China and its immediate Asian neighbours, representing a combined weight of 56%, and one would be hard placed to argue against their importance to the global economy.

In more recent years, Chinese growth has been driven by increased domestic wealth, technological innovation, entrepreneurship and, of course, infrastructure spending. This has all been further supported by financial reform and involvement at the highest political levels. A more recent structural reform is the opening up of China's A-share market to foreign investors via the Hong Kong - Shanghai and Hong Kong - Shenzhen 'Connect' initiatives. This 3,000 plus stock universe was previously unavailable to the majority of international investors and could prove to be a rich hunting ground for investors seeking access to successful domestic-based companies.

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Growing a Culture of Social Impact Investing in the UK

In December 2016, the Minister for Civil Society and Economic Secretary to the Treasury appointed Elizabeth Corley, vice chair of Allianz Global Investors, to chair an Advisory Group looking at how we can create a culture of social impact investment and savings in the UK.

Senior representatives from 50 firms across the financial services industry have been seeing how they can make it easier for people to invest and are exploring what the industry can do to encourage greater social impact investment.

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Latest Additions To The Academy

We are pleased to introduce the RWC Global Emerging Markets and Pyrford Global Total Return fund to the Academy of Funds with an A rating. We are also pleased to announce the upgrade of the Allianz Gilt Yield fund from a P+ to an A rating.

RWC Global Emerging Markets is managed by John Malloy, a seasoned investor, who is supported by an experienced team of dedicated analysts. We like that Mr Malloy invests across emerging and frontier markets, and will not discount markets often overlooked by other investors.

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Active & Passive

The current view, held by a number of investors, is that active and passive are polarised. Investors need to "pick a team" and go entirely active or entirely passive. At Square Mile, we believe that a portfolio should consist of a combination of the best funds to meet the clients' objectives, at a cost that represents value for money. That may be active, passive or a blend of both

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The Evolution Of Multi-Asset

In the beginning, investors wanting a diversified portfolio of assets had two main choices. With profits funds were often chosen by investors who wanted greater security through perceived guarantees. Alternatively, managed funds were selected by those who preferred more transparency and control over their investments. Broadly speaking, both of these approaches unfortunately left investors disappointed. With profits funds ultimately failed to deliver the returns investors expected when they discovered they were exposed to market risk and the imposition of Market Value Adjustments (MVAs) to reflect the underlying performance of the assets in the fund. Managed funds typically had more equity risk than many had appreciated. Indeed, funds labelled as "balanced" often had up to 85% exposure to equities and "cautious" funds often held in the region of 60%. This led the Investment Association to rename their managed sector classifications to better reflect the equity risk funds could take and introduced the Mixed Investment sectors alongside the Flexible Investment sector.

Today, the multi-asset sector is a diverse, vibrant and strongly growing area of the market. The global financial crisis reinforced the importance of diversification and clear and transparent communication to investors. Changes in the regulatory environment, particularly post RDR, and the continued demise of defined benefit pensions schemes have contributed to the increased demand for multi-asset funds and their popularity has soared. Furthermore, an increasing number of advisers have turned to multi-asset specialists to support their investment advice process as an outsourced solution.

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Three New Bailie Gifford Talking Factsheets Added To The Academy

We have added three new Talking Factsheets to the Square Mile Academy of Funds, featuring Head of Research, Victoria Hasler, and Head of Risk Based Solutions Research, Alex Farlow, reviewing the objectives and risks and giving their views.

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