The TB Amati UK Listed Smaller Companies fund has retained its ‘A’ rating from Square Mile despite fund manager Anna Macdonald leaving the firm in April.
Macdonald (pictured) had also managed the Amati AIM VCT, having joined the asset manager in 2018.
In the latest Square Mile Ratings Round-up, the firm said it acknowledged the central role Macdonald played within Amati Global Investors’ smaller companies team, but added that the fund continues to be managed in a “highly collegiate” manner by three experienced co-managers.
“This includes the architect of the investment approach, Paul Jourdan, with further support from analyst Gareth Blades,” Square Mile’s report added.
As of 30 April, Square Mile has 353 strategies in its Academy of Funds, all of which are rated either A, AA, AAA, R (Recommended), or P+ (Positive Prospect). The investment research business also has corresponding ratings for sustainable strategies.
The L&G Multi Index fund range has also held on to its ‘R’ rating despite lead manager Justin Onuekwusi leaving LGIM to become CIO at St James’s Place.
Square Mile said: “Although Onuekwusi was lead manager, he was well supported by co-managers Andrzej Pioch and Francis Chua, who maintain their involvement in the funds, and the well-resourced asset allocation team.
“Pioch, who has been a named fund manager since 2015, will now become the lead manager. The analysts maintain their conviction in the range centres on the strong team-based investment approach and the continuity that Pioch and Chua bring.”
Square Mile gives an ‘R’ rating to funds that meet the highest standards in their fields, but cannot be readily differentiated from their direct peer group.
River & Mercantile strategy joins Academy of Funds
The ES R&M UK Listed Smaller Companies fund was the only strategy to be introduced into the Academy of Funds in April, and it was given a ‘P+’ rating.
According to Square Mile, this rating is reserved for funds that show promise, but have elements relating to the strategy where the analysts need more time to be satisfied that it merits a full rating.
The firm added: “This fund favours high quality growth companies while applying a strict valuation discipline to construct a portfolio with the potential of outperformance through the cycle, with some downside protection.
“Its manager, George Ensor, has a limited track record on this strategy but the Square Mile team considers him to be a sensible and pragmatic investor, ably supported by alternate portfolio manager, Mayan Uthayakumar and analyst, Anna Pugh.
“Overall, the analysts believe this to be a compelling proposition, run by a young but promising manager and would suit investors looking for exposure to a reliable UK smaller companies fund.”
Rathbones retains ratings
Following Rathbones’ acquisition of Investec’s UK Wealth & Investment business, the former has retained all of its Square Mile ratings. Square Mile said that while its analysts acknowledge that the combination of the two entities will be material at the corporate level, they expect minimal impact on Rathbone Unit Trust Management.
“As such, they do not anticipate any change to the underlying philosophy and process of the investment teams within this unit and are therefore comfortable to keep all ratings in place,” the report continued.
However, Square Mile said it would closely monitor the situation in the run up to the deal completing, which is expected to be in the second half of the year.