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Square Mile Academy of Funds: Ratings Round-Up for November 2022 

Analysts at Square Mile Investment Consulting and Research (Square Mile) conducted 72 interviews with investment professionals from 40 asset management groups over the course of November 2022.

Based on the intelligence gained at these meetings and following reviews in the light of corporate announcements and developments, the following actions have been taken.

Ratings upgraded 

River & Mercantile European fund upgraded from a Positive Prospect to an A rating 

Square Mile’s team of analysts have upgraded the rating held by the River & Mercantile European fund from Positive Prospect to A.

The analysts believe the fund offers investors access to a skilful manager who combines a business cycle approach with bottom-up stock analysis. He is willing to take a different view from the consensus and invest in areas of the market that are out of favour when he thinks the opportunity has a strong payoff potential.

The fund was launched during 2020’s Covid-19 pandemic and since then, the manager has demonstrated his capability by navigating the fund well in what have been very challenging economic and market conditions. (Decision as at 18.11.22)

Comgest Growth Europe ex UK fund upgraded from A to AA rating- Rating Change 

Square Mile has confirmed a rating upgrade for the Comgest Growth Europe ex UK fund from A to AA. Since the fund entered the Academy of Funds in 2019, the analysts’ conviction in the team’s capability, their approach and process has grown stronger.

They have a high regard for the team, who are long-term investors with a quality growth approach, which has been applied consistently through different economic and market conditions across all the European strategies that they manage. (Decision as at 17.11.22)

Rating downgraded 

Fidelity MoneyBuilder Dividend and Fidelity Enhanced Income funds: downgraded to Positive Prospect 

Square Mile’s analysts reviewed the A ratings held by the Fidelity MoneyBuilder Dividend and Fidelity Enhanced Income funds on the news that long-standing manager Michael Clark is to retire at the end of 2022.  His current co-manager Rupert Gifford will assume lead manager responsibilities from 2nd January 2023.

Following this review, the analysts have decided to downgrade the funds’ ratings to Positive Prospect, reflecting the loss of experience that Mr Clark brings to the fund and their confidence that Mr Gifford will continue to apply the same long-standing investment approach.

Square Mile would like to take this opportunity to recognise Mr Clark’s contribution to the industry and wish him a long and happy retirement. (Decision as at 15.11.22)

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