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From the category archives: Ratings Roundup

Ratings Roundup

Rating reinstated for Standard Life Investments Global Index Linked Bond and the Standard Life Investments Short Duration Global Index Linked Bond funds

Having now met with the new management team on the Standard Life Investments Global Index Linked Bond and the Standard Life Investments Short Duration Global Index Linked Bond funds, we are pleased to reinstate our 'A' ratings for both these funds.

Essentially we retain our conviction in the fund's management team with Adam Skerry continuing in his co-manager role on the fund and Tom Walker replacing Katy Forbes as the second co-manager on the fund.

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Fund Rating Removal

Following today's announcement that Ian Pizer is stepping down as a day-to-day portfolio manager of the Aviva Investors Multi-Strategy Target Return and Target Income funds, we have taken the decision to remove the suspended A ratings of both funds.

Mr Pizer's relinquishment of portfolio management responsibility is the latest in a series of recent changes to the senior portfolio management teams of the AIMS funds, which had already caused us to suspend the funds' A ratings.

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Fund Suspension

Following the announcement today that Stuart Parks, head of Invesco Perpetual's Asian Equities team, is retiring and will be leaving the business in June next year, we have decided to suspend the A rating on the Invesco Perpetual Asian fund until we have had an opportunity to meet with the new co-heads of the combined Asian & Emerging Market Equities team, William Lam and Ian Hargreaves. Mr Lam and Mr Hargreaves are both senior fund managers within the Asian Equities team and took over the co-head role earlier this month. Furthermore, Dean Newman, head of the Emerging Market Equities team, is also retiring and will be departing the group at the end of this year.

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Fund Rating Removal

Following the recent announcement that Chris Murphy will be handing over his management responsibilities of the Aviva Investors UK Equity fund, we have taken the decision to remove the fund's A rating.

With immediate effect the fund will now be managed by Henry Flockhart. Mr Flockhart is known to us through his time at Standard Life Investments, prior to its merger with Aberdeen Asset Management.

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Square Mile introduces the Evenlode Global Income and Vanguard US Government Bond Index funds to the Academy of Funds

We are pleased to introduce the Evenlode Global Income fund as a Positive Prospect rating and the Vanguard US Government Bond Index fund with a Recommended rating to Square Mile's Academy of Funds.

Having only recently launched in November 2017, the Evenlode Global Income fund is a fairly new yet interesting fund, with a clear outcome orientated objective.

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Fund Rating Removal

After some debate, we have taken the decision to remove our rating of the Royal London UK Government Bond fund, which previously held an A rating in the Academy of Funds. Whilst we have no immediate concerns over the fund, it has struggled to generate alpha and has consistently underperformed equivalent passive funds for many years. We therefore believe that investors would be better served in other funds.

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Fund Rating Change For The Schroder Multi Manager Diversity fund

We have taken the decision to downgrade the Schroder Multi-Manager Diversity fund to A from AA. This follows a challenging period of performance where the fund has struggled to consistently deliver in line with its long-term CPI plus 4% p.a. performance target. The structure of the fund, which only permits up to a third of the portfolio to be held in equities, has proved a headwind in what has been a strong environment for the asset class over recent years.

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Square Mile introduces the Baillie Gifford Japanese Smaller Companies to the Academy of Funds

We are pleased to introduce the Baillie Gifford Japanese Smaller Companies fund to Square Mile's Academy of Funds with an A Rating. We see this fund as an attractive choice for long-term investors seeking exposure to Japan's smaller companies growth potential.

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Fund Rating Removal

We have taken the decision to remove the 7IM AAP and multi-manager ranges from Square Mile's Academy of funds. Over time our conviction in 7IM's asset allocation capability has waned following the departure of some senior members of the investment team. This has also coincided with a period of weaker performance. More recently, there have been changes to the investment sub-teams to allow a greater level of responsibility and accountability across the various investment disciplines, including asset allocation and investment selection.

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Fund Rating Reinstated

We are pleased to confirm we have awarded the Matthews Asia Asia Smaller Companies fund a Positive Prospect rating. The fund previously had an A rating but this was suspended earlier in the year when its size fell due to investor redemptions. Since then we have been encouraged by the efforts of the group to improve the fund's assets.

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