Our Gatekeepers series continues with a review of the UK All Companies sector. View the top ten UK All Companies funds in the second quarter here.
With 225 actively managed funds, the IA UK All Companies sector has been seen as the bellwether for asset allocators looking for broad-based exposure to UK Equities. However, according to the Investment Association, it has been the worst-selling retail sector since 2010 (with the exception of 2013 when sterling corporate bond assumed the mantle).
Although June and July were stonkingly good months for global equity, we haven’t lost sight of the fact that the Targeted Absolute Return (TAR) sector had the highest net sales figure for the first six months of the year.
As part of our ongoing Gatekeepers research, we're focusing on a different sector each week. This week it's the global sector, the bestselling sector of the past year.
Adviser portfolios tend to follow asset allocation templates that disaggregate global equities into regional, single-strategy funds, so you would expect the one-stop-shop global equity fund to be a less popular alternative. It’s a surprise therefore to see Global Equity sector consistently topping the sales charts.
Last year, the Gatekeepers report caused a stir in the industry by being the first to shine a light on potential biases in fund ratings. This year’s edition is bigger, better and bolder with a wealth of practical information to help fund managers navigate this challenging post MS15/2.3 market. As well as re-assessing the gatekeeper market, we’ve taken a closer look at the efficacy of active fund management, sorted the really active wheat from the closet-tracking chaff, and looked at the value chain from a regulatory perspective and the potential for further scrutiny and investigation.
Gatekeepers. That word strikes fear into many fund managers' hearts and rightly so. These are the people who increasingly influence and direct the volume of sales in the UK, and if a fund group isn't on their radar it's potentially missng out on some sizeable assets. The problem becomes even more acute when the investment outlook is stormy and investors are taking shelter.
The Gatekeepers analysis by Fundscape and GBi2 was designed to shed light on this murky world and help fund groups understand and pinpoint available opportunities. But it was also designed to help advisers and investors make sure they work with gatekeepers who are actually making a demonstrable difference to investor outcomes.
According to the Investment Association, the top sectors of 2015, by net sales, were UK Equity Income, Targeted Absolute Return and Europe ex-UK. Fund groups lucky enough to have funds in these sectors will have had a good year, and if their funds were on any shortlists, they probably had a great year. How much impact does being selected by a gatekeeper have on a fund's fortunes? We ran our gatekeepers analysis to find out which funds had performed best and whether there was any correlation between performance and the number of selections they had attracted. All of the funds shown below are ranked on their three-year returns. The tables below include a mix of the best funds by performance and the funds with the most gatekeeper selections. The ones with the most gatekeepers usually attract the most flows.
The Fundscape Gatekeepers study has attracted a lot of attention. The launch events were exceptionally well attended by fund groups and advisers, and the feedback was emphatically positive. Among the gatekeeper cohort, however, the reception was slightly mixed. Some got in touch to check we’d analysed their lists and sent us their selections. Most kept their distance, but one or two went on the attack, criticising the quality of the research.
The gatekeepers who went on the attack have neither read the report nor seen the analysis. I’ll repeat that again — they have neither read the report nor seen the analysis — which we found amusing and bemusing in equal measure. You see, we got in touch with them and offered them a full demonstration and explanation of our analysis, but they turned us down, so everything they say and write is based on misconceptions, flawed assumptions and conclusions...
Last Wednesday 2nd March, at a breakfast briefing hosted by Schroders, we launched the Gatekeepers report to a packed room of senior figures from the fund management industry. We were overwhelmed by the turnout — of the 50 groups that were invited to attend, 48 attended and demand has been such that we're holding a second event on 30th March (if you'd like to be come, let us know).
As the New Year dawns, there are three obsessions in the UK: resolutions, January sales, and an increasingly popular trend is Dry January — a chance to give our livers a break after the Christmas season. So here's our take on all three.
New Year Resolutions
One of the things that we often berate ourselves about is that we don’t communicate regularly enough, so one of Fundscape’s resolutions is to stay in touch and blog at least once or twice a month. And we may even stretch to weekly blogs if we have anything interesting or exciting to tell you about.
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