Insights

Fund Rating Removal

Following the recent announcement of the impending retirement of Guy Stern in 2019, we have taken the difficult decision to remove the A rating of the Standard Life Investments Global Absolute Return Strategies (GARS) fund. Over the past 10 years Mr Stern had retained a prominent role within the group, most recently as Global Head of Multi-Asset Investing, and although he will be replaced by Aymeric Forest, who joins the firm in February 2019, we see this change in leadership as material.

Moreover, this comes at a time when the strategy has experienced an extended period of challenging performance and we have also observed a number of changes across the broader team.

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New Jupiter and Schroder Talking Factsheets have been added to the Academy

We have added eight new Talking Factsheets to the Square Mile Academy of Funds featuring, Head of Risk Based Solutions, Alex Farlow, and Research Managers, John Monaghan and Amaya Assan, reviewing the objectives and risks and giving their views of the funds.

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Acquisition of First State Investments by Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation (MUTB)

First State Investments, the asset management business of Commonwealth Bank of Australia, is to be acquired by Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation (MUTB), subject to the necessary regulatory approvals. MUTB is one of Japan's leading asset managers and this move represents a move to grow its presence outside if its domestic market. First State Investments has a group of autonomous specialist investment teams, which includes Stewart Investors and First State Stewart Asia and our understanding is that MUTB will not be making any significant changes to the way these teams operate.

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Rating reinstatement for the Invesco Asian fund

We are pleased to reinstate our "A" rating for the Invesco Asian fund. Having now met this fund's management team, it has reinforced our confidence in William Lam and his ongoing role on the fund.

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Fund Rating Removal

Following our most recent review of the Janus Henderson Cautious Managed fund we have taken the decision to remove it from our Academy of Funds. The fund has been under the sole management of Stephen Payne since February 2018. This has been during a period where his co-manager Chris Burvill, manager of the fund since 2003, has unfortunately been on a period of long-term absence for medical reasons. Whilst we think Mr Payne has been managing the fund in a diligent and sensible manner over this period, his longer-term track record remains unproven in a multi-asset context. Mr Payne's experience as a fund manager to date is predominantly in UK equities and not a broader multi-asset approach. We will continue to monitor the fund to see how it performs under Mr Payne's stewardship.

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James Glover joins Square Mile as Director, Research and Consulting Operations

James Glover has joined Square Mile Investment Consulting and Research, (Square Mile) as Director, Research and Consulting Operations. He joins from J.P. Morgan Asset Management where he was Managing Director in the Investment Trust business, having previously worked in the European Equities team.

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Square Mile introduces the Baillie Gifford Multi Asset Growth fund to the Academy of Funds

We are pleased to announce that we have introduced the Baillie Gifford Multi Asset Growth fund into the Academy of Funds with an A rating.

The fund benefits from a credible and experienced team headed by Patrick Edwardson. The team also utilise the wider resources of the group, not least as the fund invests into underlying Baillie Gifford fund strategies for some of its asset class exposure.

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Job Opportunity: Business Development Manager

We're expanding the sales team at Square Mile! An exciting new opportunity for a Business Development Manager to join a small and dynamic business based in the City of London - and we're looking for an equally dynamic person to join our journey.

The Square Mile team has a strong work ethic and puts the client's needs at the forefront of everything we do. We are looking for a like-minded individual to join our team who would be able to converse well on the consulting and investment services that we offer our clients.

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Talking With Nick Mustoe

Nick Mustoe, Chief Investment Officer, Invesco Henley Investment Centre talks being a contrarian investor, multi asset funds and karate with Richard Romer-Lee, Square Mile.

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Fund Rating Removal

We have taken the difficult decision to remove the ratings of the Aberdeen Emerging Markets Equity fund, Aberdeen Asia Pacific Equity fund, Aberdeen Asia Pacific & Japan Equity fund and Aberdeen Latin American Equity fund. We feel that as market conditions have changed over time, the team and process have not adapted quickly enough to cope with this.

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