Square Mile Investment Consulting & Research has added three new funds to its Academy of Funds; Polar Capital Global Insurance, Matthews Asia Funds Asia Small Companies and AXA Sterling Credit Short Duration.

Housed within a dedicated section on the Square Mile website, and free for all advisers to access, recommended funds carry a rating - A, AA, AAA, P+ or R - as a mark of quality and a reflection of the level of conviction Square Mile has in a fund's ability to deliver on expectations.

Polar Capital Global Insurance has been awarded an AA rating, while Matthews Asia Funds - Asia Small Companies and AXA Sterling Credit Short Duration have each been allocated an A rating.

Commenting on Polar Capital Global Insurance, Square Mile's Senior Investment Research Analyst Amaya Assan said: "We are pleased to introduce the Polar Capital Global Insurance fund into our Academy of Funds with an AA rating. We have a high regard for the managers and their proven investment approach which has been in place since inception. We believe this fund, which invests in non-life insurers operating in property and casualty businesses around the world, might appeal to investors who are seeking an attractive risk reward opportunity through exposure to this part of the equity market."

Of Matthews Asia Funds - Asia Small Companies, Ms Assan said: "The Matthews Asia Funds - Asia Small Companies fund goes into our Academy of Funds with an A rating. We have a high regard for the group as well as the portfolio manager and the Matthews Asia team overall. These markets can be quite volatile and vulnerable to changes in sentiment, but we consider fund manager Lydia So a safe pair of hands who has managed the strategy in a consistent manner, seeking sound longer-term investments.  We believe this fund could be used by investors who require exposure to the more domestic Asian economy and who have a higher tolerance for risk and a long-term investment horizon."

Commenting on AXA Sterling Credit Short Duration, Head of Research Victoria Hasler added:"This is a relatively simple corporate bond fund investing in short-dated bonds which produce an income, but with less volatility than the market. About 20% of the portfolio matures each year, which gives some protection against any future rises in interest rates, as the manager should be able to re-invest maturing bonds at higher yields. The biggest drawdowns in the life of the fund occurred in 2011 and 2013, both difficult periods for credit markets, and were limited in size at just 1.7% and 1.2% respectively. Both of these were subsequently recovered. We believe the fund may be attractive to investors who are sensitive to the capital volatility of their investments and wish to preserve capital over the longer term, but who still require some level of income."