Top income funds fall from grace after uncertainty prompts ‘dramatic shakeup’

Sustained economic uncertainty has altered the pecking order in the UK equity income sector, booting eight funds from Sanlam Private Wealth’s bracket of top performers.

Top income funds fall from grace after uncertainty prompts ‘dramatic shakeup’

Sanlam’s ‘White List,’ which the group defines as income funds that “have established their ability over five years to produce superior total returns,” underwent some significant changes in the six months that included Brexit and the US election.

The wealth manager reported that over the period, eight funds had exited the White List, while three newcomers joined the ranks of the best performing funds.       

One of the most obvious changes was the top fund title-holder. New entrant CF Miton UK Multi Cap Income dethroned Troy Trojan’s income fund from the top spot, which was pushed out of the White List altogether.

The Miton income vehicle, headed by Gervais Williams and Martin Turner, “produced solid returns on a consistent basis,” had lower volatility than peers and “successfully provided more income than most over the past five years,” Sanlam explained. 

In the six months since the last version of Sanlam’s Income Study was published, the Troy Trojan Income Fund, run by Francis Brooke, has dropped 18 places into the ‘Grey List.’ The wealth manager estimated that the fund’s quality style bias and lower income production contributed to its lower ranking.

Troy Trojan was not alone as the Smith & Williamson UK Equity Income Fund, Threadneedle UK Monthly Income Fund and Fidelity MoneyBuilder Dividend also fell from the top to the middle of the pack. 

However, against the harsh economic backdrop, several unsuspected players were able to prove their robustness in a tough climate.

Arguably, one of the most improved funds was Mike Hodgson’s Schroder Income Maximiser Fund, previously managed by Thomas See, which catapulted into the White List, jumping from 34th place to 7th in Sanlam’s rankings.

JOHCM UK Equity was also identified as another “strong climber” by Sanlam, snagging third place “on the back of a stellar year.” 

Other White List newcomers include Chris Reid’s Majedie UK Income fund and Mark Slater’s MFM Slater Income Fund. 

Conversely, Sanlam’s collection of consistent underperformers changed very little during 2016. 

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