Square Mile Investment Consulting and Research today confirms an extension to the open-ended passive funds rated on the Square Mile Academy of Funds, awarding a further 14 funds 'Recommended' status.

Square Mile's assessment identifies funds that follow a low-cost approach to approximate the average market return, and can be held for the longer-term. Funds achieving 'R' ratings are typically run by investment companies that demonstrate a firm commitment to running passive strategies. They track an index suitable to retail investors such as regional equity and gilt markets and are low cost, managed efficiently and of sufficient size to allow an accurate implementation of their strategy.

Victoria Hasler, Square Mile Head of Research said, "Following the introduction of open-ended passive funds into the academy of funds in August 2015, we have now extended our range to include what we believe to be the best in both FTSE 250 (mid-cap UK equities) and UK corporate bond index trackers, the latter of which we have awarded ratings on both full and reduced duration (interest rate risk) funds."

"We recognise that passive investments, now 23% of assets under management in the UK (FCA Interim Report 11/16), often have a key role to play in portfolio construction. We seek to recognise funds in which the firm's management has a clear commitment to running open-ended passive investments, the fund has built up a strong performance track record, the benchmarks being tracked are suitable and the funds provide investors value for money."

Square Mile also awarded 'Recommended' status to a number of funds that since the previous review have either enhanced their performance track record or increased their managed assets to a level commensurate with a Square Mile 'Recommended' rating.

The full range of newly rated passive funds are:

New rated sectors
BlackRock Mid Cap UK Equity Tracker
HSBC FTSE 250 Index
BlackRock Corporate Bond Tracker
L&G Sterling Corporate Bond Index
L&G Short Dated Sterling Corporate Bond Index
Vanguard UK Investment Grade Bond Index
Vanguard UK Short-Term Investment Grade Bond Index

Increased managed assets
Fidelity Index Pacific ex Japan
State Street Global Advisors Asia Pacific ex Japan Tracker

Enhanced performance track record
Fidelity Index Europe ex UK
Fidelity Index Japan
Royal London Asia Pacific ex Japan Tracker
Royal London Japan Tracker
State Street Global Advisors North America Equity Tracker

The Square Mile Academy of Funds range now contains a total of 61 open-ended passive funds.