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UK Gilts Top Sector Charts in Latest FE Passive Crown Rebalance

By Corporate FE News

Updated on Tuesday, 15 August, 2017

  • Blackrock takes group top spot
  • Latest FE Passive Crown Rebalance rates global funds for first time
FE, the leading UK investment ratings and research agency, today announced that over half of UK Gilts funds achieved the highly-prized five FE Passive Crown rating at the latest Passive Crown rebalance, compared to just 18% of Global Equities funds. 

In total, 268 passive funds were rated in the bi-annual FE Passive Crown ratings rebalance. The ratings are designed to check how well a passive fund is doing its job at tracking its benchmark over three years. Funds are ranked objectively and transparently using a quantitative methodology in which funds are ranked between one and five Passive Crowns.

Portfolio Manager at FE, Oliver Clarke-Williams said: “The high number of UK Gilts funds which have been awarded five Passive Crown ratings is largely down to the fact that they are highly liquid and easy to replicate, whereas with global equities you’re having to buy a large amount of stocks from every region in the world.

“With none of the Sterling Corporate Bond and Property funds receiving a five Passive Crown rating, it is clear that not all trackers are equal and some markets are significantly more difficult to replicate than others.”

The percentages of five FE Passive Crown funds rated in each sector are:

2017-08-15 09_57_31-FE Passive Crown Ratings Rebalance Press Release July 2017 - Word.png






At a group level, Blackrock comes out top with 19 five Passive Crown rated funds followed by Vanguard with 12.

Global passive funds rated for first time

At the latest rebalance, an additional 40 funds have been rated as a result of continued investor demand for passive funds, with a particular focus on global tracker funds and ETFs. 

Oliver Clarke-Williams says: “More people are investing in passive funds and are increasingly choosing passive exposure to global markets. Therefore, more due diligence is needed to match that accorded to active funds. FE Passive Crown ratings are a very good way for people to do just that.”

Unrated to five Passive Crowns

This year’s rebalance saw eight funds, which had been previously unrated (due to lack of three-year performance history) leap straight to a five Passive Crown rating, seven of which are Global Equities funds.

Previously unrated funds that have been awarded a five FE Passive Crown rating:


Global Equities

·      iShares Core MSCI World UCITS ETF

Global Equities

·      iShares MSCI World UCITS ETF Inc

Global Equities

·      Vanguard Global Stock Index

Global Equities

·      iShares Developed World Index (IE)

Global Equities

·      iShares Edge MSCI World Minimum Volatility UCITS ETF

Global Equities

·      Lyxor UCITS ETF MSCI World

Global Equities

·      DB X-Trackers MSCI USA Index UCITS ETF (DR)

North American Equities


FE’s latest Passive Crown ratings follow the recent active Crown rating rebalance in July 2017. FE launched its Passive Crown ratings in 2015 as there had been a gap in the availability of quality research on passive funds owing to their complexity.

Oliver Clarke-Williams commented: “What these ratings show is that past tracking ability of a passive fund can be used as a guide to how well that group will track an index in the future. The difference between the best and worst trackers/ETFs is large and makes a significant impact on the value of your investment."