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From the category archives: Ratings Roundup

Ratings Roundup

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.

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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.

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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.

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.

Schroder Sterling Corporate Bond Awarded an A rating

We are delighted to award an A-rating to the Schroder Sterling Corporate Bond fund. Unlike many other funds within the sterling credit space, this team employ a strictly bottom-up approach focused on extracting alpha from smaller issues which can often be overlooked by larger scale investors.

The fund provides investors access to Schroders' well resourced and highly experienced European credit team, and is managed by Jonathan Golan, who has proven his ability to deliver consistent alpha under a variety of market conditions since taking over the fund in February 2017. While investors should be cognisant that this strategy may, at times, generate periods of elevated volatility, over the longer term we expect Mr Golan to deliver on the fund's performance objectives and provide strong returns within its market.

Jupiter Japan Income Awarded an A Rating

We are pleased to announce that we have awarded an A rating to the Jupiter Japan Income fund. Managed by Dan Carter and Mitesh Patel, this fund seeks to invest in high quality companies which have the ability to pay rising dividends, using a sensibly-constructed and proven investment approach and process. We believe this fund offers investors access to Japan's income and capital growth potential over the long term through a portfolio of high quality and leading businesses operating in the region.

Rating change for Comgest Growth Japan fund

Since launching our Responsible ratings, we have continued to refine and enhance the criteria by which we assess the constituents of our Responsibly rated universe. As a result, we believe that the Comgest Growth Japan fund no longer meets our Responsible rating criteria. Therefore, we will be changing the fund's rating from a Responsible A to an A rating. We retain complete conviction in this fund, its managers and their investment approach, which is ESG integrated, and believe it to be a very strong choice for those investors seeking access to high quality, growing companies in the Japanese market.

First State Sustainable Listed Infrastructure Awarded a Responsible Positive Prospect Rating

We are pleased to award a Responsible Positive Prospect rating to the First State Sustainable Listed Infrastructure fund.

The fund is a natural extension of the long standing investment process at play in the AA rated First State Global Listed Infrastructure fund, whilst benefitting from an additional sustainability consideration to stock selection. We like the experienced, focused and driven investment team, who are clearly able to articulate both their financial and sustainable objectives.

The fund size is currently small at c.£20 million, we will consider the fund for a full rating as the client base further diversifies.

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