From the monthly archives: November 2020

We are pleased to present below all posts archived in 'November 2020'. If you still can't find what you are looking for, try using the search box.

Storebrand Global ESG Plus Awarded a Responsible A Rating

We are pleased to announce that we have awarded the Storebrand Global ESG Plus fund a Responsible A rating. We believe Storebrand to be one of the best ESG managers with their strong track record of delivering sustainable investment solutions. The fund is well priced and offers investors cheap exposure to global equities with very limited carbon footprint.

We believe the managers have successfully applied the investment approach and continue to enhance and adapt their methodology to take account of recent climate science evidence on the societies impact on the environment.

BNY Mellon Japan Small Cap Equity Focus Awarded an A Rating

We are pleased to introduce the BNY Mellon Japan Small Cap Equity Focus fund to our Academy of Funds with an A rating. The fund is managed by an experienced and highly credible investor, Kazuya Kurosawa, who is ably supported by his four colleagues. We believe that this fund is an attractive, long-term offering for discerning investors, who wish to invest in smaller, more domestically orientated Japanese companies.

Aegon European ABS Awarded an AA Rating

We are delighted to announce that the Aegon European ABS fund has entered our Academy of Funds with a AA rating. The wider strategy has a strong track record dating back to 2004, thereby demonstrating the impressive resources and heritage backing the fund within the Aegon business. Access to European asset backed securities is rare in the UK market, and we view this fund as a highly compelling proposition for investors requiring access to this less well known part of the credit market. Whilst the strategy is only selectively available across a small number of UK platforms, we believe this will improve quickly as UK investor demand grows.

Changes to the management of the Schroder Asian Alpha Plus fund

We have decided to lower the rating of the Schroder Asian Alpha Plus fund from AA to A. This change reflects the fact that on 31 March 2021 the long-standing manager of the fund, Matthews Dobbs, will be stepping away from management of the fund, and handing over the reins to Richard Sennitt. Mr Dobbs will be retiring at the end of 2021. Whilst we hold Mr Sennitt in high regard, which is reflected in the AA rating on the Schroder Asian Income fund which he manages, we feel an A rating on the Schroder Asian Alpha Plus fund is more appropriate at this time, in recognition of the upcoming change of portfolio manager and our conviction in the impending new manager of the fund as he starts to build his own track record on this strategy.

ESG Pathway: The need for consistent language

One of the challenges the industry continues to face is the need for consistent language and terminology around ESG and Responsible investment. In the third event of the ESG Pathway series, we were joined by Jess Foulds, Policy Specialist at The Investment Association, who leads the policy work on Sustainability and Responsible investment. During the session, Jess outlined what The Investment Association have been doing in conjunction with the asset management industry to address the need for consistency in order to meet the forthcoming regulation.

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Aberdeen Standard Liquidity Awarded a Recommended Rating

We are pleased to announce that we have awarded the Aberdeen Standard Liquidity (Lux) - Sterling fund a recommended rating. We are impressed with the size and the strength of the liquidity team at Aberdeen Standard Investments, alongside their strong track record of preserving investors capital. We also believe the fund is well priced at an OCF of 10 basis points, which is imperative in the current ultra-low interest rate environment.

We must warn investors that, due to the current interest rate environment, even the best run funds in this sector may well provide a small negative monthly return to investors, net of fees. Currently this fund's OCF is in line with the Bank of England base rate and, all things being equal, we would expect the fund to provide an annualised return very close to 0.0% at present.

Legg Mason ClearBridge US Equity Sustainability Leaders Awarded a Responsible A Rating

We are delighted to announce that we have upgraded our rating of the Legg Mason ClearBridge US Equity Sustainability Leaders fund from Responsible Positive Prospect to Responsible A.

We believe the managers have consistently and successfully applied the investment approach, which has ultimately led to a good level of asset growth and a rewarding performance profile for its investors. In addition, Franklin Templeton has completed its acquisition of Legg Mason, since we initially awarded the Responsible Positive Prospect rating. All of these factors have led to an increase in our overall level of conviction in the strategy.

Wellington Global Impact Bond fund Awarded a Responsible Positive Prospect Rating

We are pleased to introduce the Wellington Global Impact Bond fund to the Academy of Funds with a Responsible Positive Prospect rating.

With a big commitment from Wellington, the fund follows a proprietary, clearly defined, impact process. Having launched in 2018, Wellington's Impact bond team have so far delivered a positive track record, providing investors with a high quality, core, global fixed income portfolio. This has been delivered alongside strong impact investing credentials that contribute to solutions to some of the world's major social and environmental challenges.

BNY Mellon Multi-Asset Balanced re-introduced into the Academy of Funds

We are pleased to re-introduce the BNY Mellon Multi-Asset Balanced fund into the Academy with an A rating. The fund was removed from the Academy in February 2018 following a number of changes to fund's long-term managers. The current team started managerial responsibility for the fund in January 2018 and make use of many of the same resources as the previous team, but their approach to asset allocation is different. Their approach is more pragmatic and benchmark aware and has less of an emphasis on capital preservation, with the latter being a feature of the previous team. We believe this fund may appeal to investors that have a long-term time horizon and who are looking for a multi-asset portfolio that will have a bias to equities. Key attractions we see of this fund are the conviction driven approach taken by the managers, the experience and tenure within the business of the lead manager, Simon Nichols, and the strength of the global analyst team that support the equity recommendations within the portfo ...

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The Big Question: Is multi-asset more important than ever?

In the third interview of the series, we are turning to multi-asset with John Chatfeild-Roberts, Head of Strategy - Jupiter Merlin team at Jupiter Asset Management and Justin Onuekwusi, Head of Retail Multi-Asset Funds, Legal and General Investment Management.

In this short video, they explore the evolution of multi-asset and how it can stay relevant in the current fast paced environment. John and Justin continue to discuss how they are incorporating ESG and Responsible investment in their portfolios amidst the increasing demand in this area, as well as share their outlook for the markets.

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