We are pleased to introduce the RWC Global Emerging Markets and Pyrford Global Total Return fund to the Academy of Funds with an A rating. We are also pleased to announce the upgrade of the Allianz Gilt Yield fund from a P+ to an A rating.

RWC Global Emerging Markets is managed by John Malloy, a seasoned investor, who is supported by an experienced team of dedicated analysts. We like that Mr Malloy invests across emerging and frontier markets, and will not discount markets often overlooked by other investors. In addition, the process is well-constructed and combines macroeconomic considerations and themes with stock research, supported by a number of proprietary screens and expert opinion, where applicable. The manager targets an outperformance of the MSCI Emerging Markets index by at least 3% (net) p.a. over a full market cycle, and as such, this fund fits our capital accumulation outcome. We believe that this is an attractive option for investors looking to access emerging markets and willing to invest for the longer term and an exciting addition to the Academy.

In a space where investors continue to look for new asset classes and alternative strategies to help build diversified portfolios, the Pyrford Global Total Return follows a simple approach investing in equities, bonds and cash. We think the simplicity of the building blocks and the level of transparency provided is likely to appeal to a number of investors. Pyrford has a long and successful history of managing flexible, unconstrained multi-asset strategies, and this dates back to 1994. Their success has partly been driven by their experienced and well-resourced investment team. However, the collegiate nature of the team and the firm's ability to retain talent has ensured the investment approach has remained consistent. We like the philosophy of the group, which is based on taking a long-term view, and is focused on absolute and not relative risk. The long-term nature of the approach and focus on compounding returns over time means investors should adopt a similar time horizon for their investment.

Mike Riddell, the manager of the Allianz Gilt Yield, has demonstrated an impressive ability to meet his performance objectives since he took over management of the fund at the end of 2015.Over this time, Allianz have also increased the resources available to the fund through the addition of Kacper Brzezniak, the deputy manager of the fund, and the acquisition of Rogge Global Partners, whose expertise include global government bonds. Mr Riddell's active management style benefits from both his top down macroeconomic views, predominantly in respect of interest rate positioning, as well as his technical nous in individual security selection.