Schroder Sterling Corporate Bond Awarded an A rating

We are delighted to award an A-rating to the Schroder Sterling Corporate Bond fund. Unlike many other funds within the sterling credit space, this team employ a strictly bottom-up approach focused on extracting alpha from smaller issues which can often be overlooked by larger scale investors.

The fund provides investors access to Schroders' well resourced and highly experienced European credit team, and is managed by Jonathan Golan, who has proven his ability to deliver consistent alpha under a variety of market conditions since taking over the fund in February 2017. While investors should be cognisant that this strategy may, at times, generate periods of elevated volatility, over the longer term we expect Mr Golan to deliver on the fund's performance objectives and provide strong returns within its market.

Jupiter Japan Income Awarded an A Rating

We are pleased to announce that we have awarded an A rating to the Jupiter Japan Income fund. Managed by Dan Carter and Mitesh Patel, this fund seeks to invest in high quality companies which have the ability to pay rising dividends, using a sensibly-constructed and proven investment approach and process. We believe this fund offers investors access to Japan's income and capital growth potential over the long term through a portfolio of high quality and leading businesses operating in the region.

Rating change for Comgest Growth Japan fund

Since launching our Responsible ratings, we have continued to refine and enhance the criteria by which we assess the constituents of our Responsibly rated universe. As a result, we believe that the Comgest Growth Japan fund no longer meets our Responsible rating criteria. Therefore, we will be changing the fund's rating from a Responsible A to an A rating. We retain complete conviction in this fund, its managers and their investment approach, which is ESG integrated, and believe it to be a very strong choice for those investors seeking access to high quality, growing companies in the Japanese market.

First Sentier Responsible Listed Infrastructure Awarded a Responsible Positive Prospect Rating

We are pleased to award a Responsible Positive Prospect rating to the First Sentier Responsible Listed Infrastructure fund.

The fund is a natural extension of the long standing investment process at play in the AA rated First Sentier Global Listed Infrastructure fund, whilst benefitting from an additional sustainability consideration to stock selection. We like the experienced, focused and driven investment team, who are clearly able to articulate both their financial and sustainable objectives.

The fund size is currently small at c.£20 million, we will consider the fund for a full rating as the client base further diversifies.

The Big Question: ESG, fad or future?

Introducing The Big Question - a new series of videos aiming to answer some of the burning questions of the moment with experts from across the investment industry.

In the first video of the series, Square Mile’s Senior Investment Consultant, Jake Moeller, is talking all things ESG and responsible investing with Veronique Chapplow, Investment Director at M&G, and Ned Salter, Head of Equity at Fidelity International.

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Liontrust Strategic Bond Awarded an A Rating

We are very pleased to announce that we have upgraded the rating of the Liontrust Strategic Bond fund from a Positive Prospect to an A rating. We hold the managers of this fund in high regard and believe that they have proved themselves more than capable of successfully managing money as a small yet very competent team of three. Indeed, the fund has delivered above average returns, in what has been a challenging time for the managers' value driven approach, whilst the managers have stayed entirely focused on their core commitments of running money and servicing their clients.

We look forward to seeing this fund progress and maintain our conviction in the managers, their approach and their ability to continue to deliver attractive returns moving forwards.

Invesco fund ratings unchanged

Following the announcements that a number of senior investment analysts and portfolio managers have been promoted to co-manager roles on several of Invesco’s Fixed Interest funds, we are retaining our ratings on the following funds: Invesco Corporate Bond AAA, Invesco Tactical Bond AAA, Invesco Monthly Income Plus AA and Invesco Distribution AA.

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Allianz Strategic Bond Awarded an AA Rating

We are delighted to award an AA rating to the Allianz Strategic Bond fund. Using the discretionary global macro approach which they created, this fund's managers combine exposures to interest rates, credit, inflation and currencies in order to generate alpha.

We hold the fund's managers and their unconstrained, contrarian and high conviction approach in high regard and we believe that their abilities have been clearly demonstrated by the fact that they have been able to deliver strong returns, with a close to zero correlation to equities, across different market environments. Thus, providing an attractive source of diversification for investors' portfolios.

Polar Capital Global Technology to soft close

Following our update meeting with Nick Evans, the manager of the Polar Capital Global Technology fund, we can confirm that the fund will be soft closed from the 13th July. New investors will be unable to access the fund and any requests to purchase the fund on platforms will be blocked.

This soft closure will allow the two co-managers to focus on managing the assets already in the strategy and to continue to provide a high level of service to existing clients. The soft closure does not reflect on any immediate concerns with the size of the fund or Mr Evans’s ability to trade stocks in the market. That said, soft closing the fund will allow the managers to remain nimble in their allocation to smaller and medium sized companies.

We retain full conviction in the strategy and its managers and the fund maintains its A rating.

Baillie Gifford Multi Asset growth reintroduced to the Academy of Funds

We are pleased to announce the reinstatement of the Baillie Gifford Multi Asset Growth fund into the Academy with an A rating. This fund was suspended in July 2019 following the announcement that, team head at the time, Patrick Edwardson, was retiring and would depart the business in April 2020. Since this time we have met with the remaining team members on a number of occasions and are satisfied that collectively they continue to have the necessary experience and resources to be able to deliver on the fund's longer term investment objectives.

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