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From the category archives: Ratings Roundup

Ratings Roundup

Manager changes for the Threadneedle High Yield Bond fund

Following today's announcement that long-standing co-manager of the Threadneedle High Yield Bond fund, Barrie Whitman, will be retiring at the end of the year, we would like to reiterate our A rating on the fund.

We acknowledge the great contribution that Mr Whitman has made to the fund and believe that he has built up a competent and very able team, including the fund's co-manager David Backhouse, who will be more than capable of managing the fund upon Mr Whitman's retirement.

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Fund rating suspension on the Baillie Gifford Multi Asset Growth fund

Following the announcement that Patrick Edwardson, manager of the Baillie Gifford Multi Asset Growth fund and head of the multi-asset team, will retire from the business in April 2020 after 27 years, we have decided to suspend the fund's rating. Mr Edwardson has been one of the portfolio managers on the fund since its inception back in 2015 but the remaining four co-managers will continue to run the fund following his departure. Nicoleta Dumitru will become a named manager across the multi-asset strategies and James Squires will succeed Mr Edwardson as head of the team.

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Update on the suspension of the Jupiter European and JGF Jupiter European Growth Funds

Following the recent announcement that long serving manager, Alexander Darwall, will be leaving Jupiter Fund Management plc, we are retaining our suspended ratings on the Jupiter European and JGF Jupiter European Growth funds.

Mr Darwall's replacement, Mark Nichols, commenced employment at Jupiter on 1 July 2019, and will officially assume responsibility of both funds during the fourth quarter of the year. We will be meeting with Mr Nichols in the near future to discuss his plans for both funds, which currently remain under the stewardship of Mr Darwall.

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Update on the suspension of the LF Woodford Equity Income fund

Following the announcement that Link Fund Solutions has maintained its suspension of trading for at least another 28 days in the LF Woodford Equity Income fund, we are reaffirming that our rating on the fund remains suspended.

We placed a suspension notice on the fund's rating in April and it will remain in place while we seek reassurances from Woodford Investment Management over a number of questions we have raised in the interim. When we have a clear view of the future shape of the portfolio and can judge whether this is in line with the best interests of investors and the fund's stated objective, we will reassess the strategy.

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Fund rating removal for the Schroder Multi Manager Diversity fund range

Following our decision in March 2019 to suspend the ratings on the Schroder MM Diversity, Diversity Income, Diversity Balanced and Diversity Tactical funds we have now removed the ratings on these funds. While we think Robin McDonald is a capable lead manager, Marcus Brookes, former head of the team, is a highly experienced investor and he is no longer involved in the management of these funds. The remaining team will also be supporting a number of mandates for Schroders Personal Wealth and now directly report into the multi-asset team at Schroders.

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Fund rating suspension on the BlackRock GF European Focus fund

Following the announcement that the managers, Nigel Bolton and Simon Hunter, of the BlackRock GF European Focus fund will relinquish their portfolio management duties as of today (13th June 2019), we have taken the decision to suspend our AA rating of the fund. Both remain at the firm; Mr Bolton is increasing his focus on his CIO investment leadership responsibilities, whereas Mr Hunter will continue to lead the team's consumer sector coverage.

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Update on the suspension of the LF Woodford Equity Income fund

Following the news that dealing in the LF Woodford Equity Income fund has been suspended for at least 28 days due to an increased level of redemptions, we are reaffirming that our rating on the fund remains suspended.

We placed a suspension notice on the fund's rating in April and it will remain in place while we seek reassurances from Woodford Investment Management over a number of questions we have raised in the interim. When we have a clear view of the future shape of the portfolio and can judge whether this is in line with the best interests of investors and the fund's stated objective, we will reassess the strategy.

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Suspension of the LF Woodford Equity Income fund

Following the news that dealing in the LF Woodford Equity Income fund has been suspended, due to an increased level of redemptions, we are reaffirming that our rating on the fund remains suspended. We have included the link to the firm's statement below.

WIM Statement On LF Woodford Equity Income Fund Suspension
 

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Square Mile introduces the T. Rowe Price Global Focused Growth Equity Fund to the Academy of Funds

We are pleased to award the T. Rowe Price Global Focused Growth Equity fund with an A rating.

We have met with the fund's manager, David Eiswert, on several occasions and have built our conviction in his ability to consistently meet the fund's performance objective. This strategy is managed with a bias towards growth stocks further up the market capitalisation scale, but it is designed to provide investors with broad regional and industry exposure to companies listed around the globe.

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Fund rating reinstatement for the PIMCO Global Libor Plus Bond fund

We are pleased to lift our suspension on the PIMCO Global Libor Plus Bond fund. We have now met with the fund's new co-manager, Nidhi Nakra, and we believe that the mixture of experience and geographies amongst the fund's management team works well.

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