Following the recent announcement of the impending retirement of Guy Stern in 2019, we have taken the difficult decision to remove the A rating of the Standard Life Investments Global Absolute Return Strategies (GARS) fund. Over the past 10 years Mr Stern had retained a prominent role within the group, most recently as Global Head of Multi-Asset Investing, and although he will be replaced by Aymeric Forest, who joins the firm in February 2019, we see this change in leadership as material.

Moreover, this comes at a time when the strategy has experienced an extended period of challenging performance and we have also observed a number of changes across the broader team.

The combination of these factors, in what has been a reasonably short timeframe, has resulted in a loss in conviction in the fund's ability to meet its stated objective and outcome and we have therefore removed it from our Academy.