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Press Releases

Fund Rating Removal

First State Investments have today announced that they are to close their Global Resources capability, which includes a number of strategies managed by the team and both the UK OEIC and Irish VCC versions of the First State Global Resources fund. As such we regret to announce that we have removed the 'A' rating of the First State Global Resources fund.

Given the evolution of the investment market, First State Investments no longer believes that this strategy is commercially viable over the long term. It is currently under discussion as to whether this will result in the sale of the entire Global Resources franchise, or if it will instead be wound up. The managers, Todd Warren and Tal Lomnitzer, will continue to run the fund whilst a final exit strategy is decided.

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Passive Funds Rating Changes

We are delighted to announce the addition of the following passive funds to the Square Mile Academy of Funds, each with a 'Recommended' rating.

Fidelity Index Emerging Markets
UBS S&P 500 Index
Vanguard Global Bond Index
Vanguard Global Short Term Bond Index

Each of these funds have successfully tracked their respective benchmark indices over time, have appropriate fee levels and are run by management companies who we believe have clearly demonstrated their commitment to the UK retail market.

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Fund Rating Suspension

Following the news that Chris Burvill, the long-standing manager of the Henderson Cautious Managed fund is taking an extended period of leave for medical reasons, we have taken the decision to suspend the fund's AA rating. In Chris's absence, the fund will continue to be managed by Stephen Payne.

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Square Mile introduces the Stewart Investors Indian Subcontinent fund and the Pimco Global Libor Plus fund to the Academy of Funds

We are pleased to introduce the Stewart Investors Indian Subcontinent fund with a AA rating and the Pimco Global Libor Plus fund with a 'Positive Prospect' rating into the Square Mile Academy of Funds.

Stewart Investors Indian Subcontinent fund recently re-opened for investment, in December 2017, and is run by a management team who we know well and have a high regard for. The Indian subcontinent is home to a large and growing universe of quality companies who often have long-term time horizons, and are successfully investing in the region's sustainable development, which is central to the team's philosophy. We think this is a strategy that tries to address some of the varied risks that investors may face in this part of the world, through a process that is disciplined, thoughtful and focused on the long term. We see this strategy as an attractive long-term offering that might appeal to investors seeking a considered exposure to this subcontinent.

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Square Mile introduces the Natixis Loomis Sayles US Equity Leaders fund to the Academy of Funds

We are pleased to announce the addition of the Natixis Loomis Sayles US Equity Leaders fund to Square Mile's Academy of Funds and have awarded it an A rating.

This is a fund we have monitored for some time and is one that we believe has a number of compelling attributes. We think the fund's clear philosophy and process is well designed and is a good fit into the Academy given our focus on long term investment outcomes.

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Fund Rating Suspension

Following the news that there have been significant redemptions from the Matthews Asia - Asia Small Companies fund this year, reducing assets under management in this investment vehicle to c.$5 million, we have taken the action to suspend our A rating. Although our conviction in the firm, investment manager and fund remain, at its current size the strategy could be deemed to be sub-scale by many investors.

We believe Matthews Asia has managed these divestments in a sensible manner so far and that the manager remains committed to this strategy. We are further comforted by the fact that this fund is managed in an identical manner to a US domiciled fund, which has assets of c.$456m (as at end January 2018).

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Update on the JPM Multi-Asset Income Fund

Following the announcement that one of the portfolio managers of the JPM Multi-Asset Income fund, Talib Sheikh, is leaving JPMorgan we have decided to retain our A rating on the fund. Michael Schoenhaut remains a portfolio manager on the fund and continues to have responsibility for a global suite of multi-asset income strategies. Eric Bernbaum has replaced Mr Sheikh as a portfolio manager on the fund.

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Fund Rating Removal

Following the news that Matthew Brown has relinquished his co-manager role on the Newton Multi-Asset Balanced fund to join the Real Return team on a full-time basis we have removed the rating. Newton first announced changes to the management of the Multi-Asset Balanced fund in November 2017. These included, long standing co-manager Iain Stewart relinquishing responsibilities for the fund to focus his time exclusively on the Real Return strategies, as well as Charles French becoming co-manager alongside Simon Nichols

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Fund rating change for the Baillie Gifford High Yield Bond fund

We are pleased to announce that we have reinstated our A rating of the Baillie Gifford High Yield Bond fund.

The fund's rating was initially suspended in January 2018 as an act of prudence following the announcement that Donald Phillips, one of the co-managers on the fund, had left the firm. We have now met with the fund's co-managers, Robert Baltzer and Lucy Isles, and we are re-assured to know that the team-based, long term, value approach to investing remains unchanged.

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Fund Rating Removal

We regret to announce that we have removed the 'A' rating of the Schroder European Equity Absolute Return fund following a prolonged period in which the fund has failed to deliver its performance objective of cash plus 3-5% to investors. We had hoped and expected that returns would improve following the change in strategy in April 2015 from a predominantly UK equity fund to a pan European fund, to match the manager's longstanding and core investment expertise.

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