Insights

From the monthly archives: November 2018

We are pleased to present below all posts archived in 'November 2018'. If you still can't find what you are looking for, try using the search box.

Fund Rating Removals and Suspensions

Following this morning's announcement of Stephen Snowden's (co-head of fixed income) departure from Kames Capital, along with three further managers in the Kames Capital Fixed Income team, Juan Valenzuela, David Ennett and Stephen Baines, we have removed our rating from the following three funds:

Kames Investment Grade Bond
Kames Sterling Corporate Bond
Kames Ethical Corporate Bond

The changes to the fixed income team at Kames Capital have been significant over the last 18 months, with at least 9 key departures. Whilst there are still some very good investors on the team, we are cognisant that the business now faces the considerable task of rebuilding their fixed income team, both managers and credit analysts, whilst maintaining their investment process.

We are also suspending our ratings on the following multi-asset funds...

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Fund Rating Removals

Following a lengthy review, we have take the decision to remove the ratings of the BMO European Smaller Companies ex UK fund and its Luxembourg-domiciled, pan European sister strategy, the BMO European Smaller Companies fund.

Both of these funds have struggled to achieve their investment objectives in recent years and although we acknowledge that the managers and their supporting team have made some efforts to address these performance issues, our conviction in the managers' stock selection abilities has waned.

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Fund Rating Removal

We have decided to remove the positive prospect rating on the BlackRock Global Multi-Asset Income fund. Whilst the fund has met its income target, its capital return has been less competitive than we would have hoped for over the nearly four years since the fund has been following its current strategy.

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New Investec and Newton Talking Factsheets have been added to the Academy

We have added two new Talking Factsheets to the Square Mile Academy of Funds, featuring Research Manager, John Monaghan, reviewing the objectives and risks and giving his view of the funds.

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Fund Rating Removal

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.

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New Jupiter and Schroder Talking Factsheets have been added to the Academy

We have added eight new Talking Factsheets to the Square Mile Academy of Funds featuring, Head of Risk Based Solutions, Alex Farlow, and Research Managers, John Monaghan and Amaya Assan, reviewing the objectives and risks and giving their views of the funds.

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Acquisition of First State Investments by Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation (MUTB)

First State Investments, the asset management business of Commonwealth Bank of Australia, is to be acquired by Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation (MUTB), subject to the necessary regulatory approvals. MUTB is one of Japan's leading asset managers and this move represents a move to grow its presence outside if its domestic market. First State Investments has a group of autonomous specialist investment teams, which includes Stewart Investors and First State Stewart Asia and our understanding is that MUTB will not be making any significant changes to the way these teams operate.

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