300 funds score top accolade in recent FE Crown Rebalance

By Corporate

Updated on Friday, 27 January, 2017

FE’s latest bi-annual Crown Ratings rebalance awarded 300 funds with the highly prized five FE Crowns - with 18 previously unrated funds being awarded the top accolade. 

  • 300 five FE Crown funds

  • Europe ex UK performing strongly with 42% 4 or 5 crowns

  • Fidelity and Blackrock top the leaderboard in group terms

  • 18 previously unrated funds awarded the highest accolade

In total January’s rebalancing saw 122 funds upgraded to five Crown status, while 129 funds were downgraded. Meanwhile 208 funds gained or lost at least two FE Crowns, down from the record high of 308 recorded in the last rebalancing in July 2016.

Sector analysis

Stripping out the Unclassified sector, the Global sector bagged top spot in terms of absolute numbers, with 23 funds, UK All companies with 22 and Europe Ex UK with 18 which was also the sector with the second largest % of five crown rated funds.

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At a regional level, having had just four five Crown rated funds in the July rebalancing, North America now houses eight such funds although in terms of overall percentages this only represents 8.1% of the 99 funds in the peer group. However, compare this with the Europe ex UK sector in which 20% of funds have five crowns, whereas 42% of funds account for four or five FE Crowns.

Rob Gleeson, head of FE Research, said: “The latest rebalance shows a very similar story to the last time we rebalanced our ratings back in July.  Funds in the US are still struggling to add alpha, whilst managers are having greater success beating the market in Europe, Asia and emerging markets.

“One of the sectors not doing so well is Sterling Strategic Bond where a disappointing 4% of funds in this sector get 5 Crowns and only 12% have 4 or 5 Crowns, making it the worst performing sector.  One might expect this to be a sector that allows managers to shine as unlike other bond sectors they have complete freedom to move between high yield, investment grade bonds and gilts.  The latest ratings suggest that this freedom is not resulting in strong performance and managers seem to be struggling to add value by switching between these three areas.”

On a group level, Fidelity again tops the board with the highest number of five FE Crown-rated funds at 20, followed by BlackRock at 14, Henderson with 10.

FE’s Crown ratings evaluate funds according to alpha generation, volatility and the consistency with which they have beaten their benchmarks over the past three years.

Previously unrated to five FE Crowns

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