Aegon Diversified Monthly Income reintroduced to the Academy of funds

We are pleased to announce the reinstatement of the Aegon Diversified Monthly Income fund back in to the Academy with an A rating. This fund was suspended in November 2018 following a number of departures from the group's fixed income team, who play an integral role and input heavily into this fund. Since this time we have followed developments closely, both from a fixed income team perspective, as well as from an overall strategy perspective. Aegon has steadily and carefully added resource back to its fixed income team and we now feel it is back to a similar level, prior to our suspension. Throughout this period, the fund's managers have continued to apply their investment process in a consistent manner and performance of the fund has continued to behave in line with our expectations. We therefore feel that we are now at a point where we are comfortable lifting the suspension and reinstating the fund's A rating.

Rating removal for the Somerset Emerging Markets Dividend Growth fund

We have taken the decision to remove the Somerset Emerging Markets Dividend Growth fund from our Academy of Funds. This follows the recent news that the fund’s lead manager, Edward Lam, has resigned and will be leaving the firm towards the end of the year to pursue other opportunities. Somerset has also announced the hire of a new Dividend Growth team to take over management of the fund, however no further details have been provided. Mr Lam will remain as lead manager of the fund for the time being to ensure a smooth transition and we intend to meet with the new management team in due course. We would like to take this opportunity to wish Mr Lam all the success for the future.

Job Opportunity: Operations Manager

We have an exciting new opportunity for an Operations 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.

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Sally Boyle joins Square Mile

Square Mile Investment Consulting and Research (Square Mile) has appointed Sally Boyle as Business Development Director. Reporting to Commercial Director Steve Kenny, Sally will provide senior-level support in developing and strengthening Square Mile’s relationships with IFA clients.

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New BNY Mellon and Schroders Talking Factsheets added to the Academy of Funds

We have added a new Talking Factsheet to the Square Mile Academy of Funds, including the BNY Mellon Real Return fund and the Schroder Asian Alpha Plus, Schroder Income and Schroder Recovery funds.

Watch the Talking Factsheets with Square Mile's Senior Investment Consultant, Jake Moeller, and Investment Research Analyst, Paul Angell who will be reviewing the objectives and risks, as well as giving our opinion on the above funds.

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Trojan Ethical fund Awarded Responsible A Rating

We are very pleased to announce the addition of the Trojan Ethical fund into our Academy of Funds with a Responsible A rating. The Trojan Ethical fund follows the same consistent and successful approach as the group's flagship Trojan fund, with the key difference between the two funds being, Trojan Ethical has an ethical screen which excludes specific industries and sectors. The fund has been managed since its launch, in March 2019, by Charlotte Yonge who is also deputy manager of the Trojan fund. We think the simple and transparent investment approach of the fund, along with its clear exclusionary policy will appeal to investors wanting capital growth, but who also wish to avoid specific industries and businesses when allocating their capital.

News on Matthews China Small Companies fund and Matthews Asia Small Companies fund

We have decided to remove the Matthews China Small Companies and Matthews Asia Small Companies funds from our Academy of Funds, following recent news of the impending departures of lead manager for the two funds, Tiffany Hsiao, as well as YuanYuan Ji, co-manager of the China Small Companies fund, and Beini Zhou, co-manager of the Asia Small Companies fund. The trio are departing the investment group on the 31st August to pursue other opportunities.

Effective 31st August, the Matthews China Small Companies fund will be managed by Winnie Chwang and Andrew Mattock, who are also responsible for the multi-cap Matthews China strategy. The Matthews Asia Small Companies fund will be managed by Vivek Tanneeru, who is also the lead manager of the Matthews Asia ESG fund. Ultimately, we believe the departures of the key individuals involved in these small cap strategies is significant. We have therefore decided to remove the two funds from our Academy.

The Big Question: Value vs. growth, does style matter?

In the second edition of The Big Question, Square Mile’s newest video series focussing on the hot topics of the moment, we are tackling the ongoing debate within the industry aiming to answer the question, does style matter?

Square Mile’s Senior Investment Consultant, Jake Moeller, is discussing value versus growth with Nick Kirrage, Fund Manager and Co-Head of Value at Schroders, and Laurence Taylor, Portfolio Specialist of Equity at T Rowe Price. In this video, they explore these management styles, which underpins their processes and whether the great debate risks oversimplifying the drivers of share prices for investors.

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TB Evenlode Global Income fund Awarded an A Rating

We are delighted to announce that we have upgraded our rating of the TB Evenlode Global Income fund from Positive Prospect to A.

Having monitored the fund closely since its launch in November 2017, we have been impressed with the progress the managers have made in developing the firm’s global equity capabilities and their consistent application of the investment process. This has ultimately led to impressive returns in the context of the fund's approach. These factors have led to an increase in our overall level of conviction.

Recent news on Schroder Asian Alpha Plus and Schroder Asian Income funds

Please note that the manager of the Schroder Asian Alpha Plus fund, Matthew Dobbs, will be retiring next year. He is going to hand over the responsibility of managing this fund to Richard Sennitt at the end of Q1 next year, before officially retiring at the end of 2021. Mr Sennitt has worked closely with Mr Dobbs for many years and indeed the two have been deputy to each other's Asian funds since 2007. Mr Sennitt is also the manager of the Schroder Asian Income fund, which holds a AA rating in our Academy of Funds. The Schroder Asian Alpha Plus fund also has a AA rating, which remains unchanged for now. We hold both managers in high regard and will be looking to have a meeting with the pair in the coming weeks to discuss their plans in regards to the transition period and impending change of fund manager responsibilities. We will update investors post this meeting with our insights on the two funds.

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