Morningstar upgrades Fidelity European and demotes Nick Train funds

Jupiter funds placed under review following the departure of Ben Whitmore

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Morningstar has boosted Sam Morse’s Fidelity European to a gold rating in its medallist system, while knocking WS Lindsell Train UK Equity and Finsbury Growth & Income from silver to bronze in its January 2024 adjustments.

Morse, who has managed Fidelity European since 2009, joined the company in 1990. In the past five years, it has returned 70.3% compared to a sector average of 51.9%, ranking 14th out of 123 funds in the grouping, according to FE Fundinfo.

See also: FundCalibre awards Aegon, Fidelity and Ninety One funds with ‘Elite’ rating

Jonathan Miller, head of UK manager research at Morningstar, said: “The execution of Fidelity European by Sam Morse has been impressive. This has resulted in consistent outperformance and a platform for long-term success.” 

The Man GLG Japan Core Alpha fund has also been upgraded from neutral to bronze under the leadership of Jeff Atherton, who became lead portfolio manager in January 2021. The Janus Henderson UK Responsible Income fund, led by Andrew Jones, and JPM UK Equity Core, an affordable ‘benchmark aware’ strategy led by James Illsley, were added to Morningstar’s coverage with bronze ratings.

“As part of our qualitative assessment, analysts cover funds across asset classes, regions, and differing styles. Some of our newer ideas are linked to the UK, where we’ve seen changes of late and fund manager retirements,” Miller said.

“When it comes to portfolios run by Morningstar Investment Management, we are overweight UK in our MPS and last year also introduced dedicated exposure to UK mid caps. Valuations have become progressively cheaper and we also see scope for further corporate dividend growth, which we believe will help drive a rerating of share prices.” 

Morningstar noted the downgrade of Nick Train’s fund due to his ‘gloomier’ outlook on small caps and mid caps in the midst of liquidity concerns.

“The desired narrower focus from here raises some questions on how the team will be working on its true best ideas and make the most of its skill set,” the report said.

As the Artemis Strategic Bond lost fund managers Juan Valenzuela and Rebecca Young, replaced by David Ennett, Grace Le, and Abrdn’s Liam O’Donnel, the fund has been rerated as neutral. The Jupiter UK Mid Cap has also been rerated as neutral following Tim Service replacing Richard Watts as manager.

Jupiter’s UK Special Situations fund, the Jupiter Income fund, and JOHCM UK Dynamic have been placed under review due to fund manager departures.