Four new fixed income funds were awarded the RSMR Active rating, with the £272m Jupiter Corporate Bond fund being described as a “strong core offering in the sector”.
The Royal London Global Index Linked fund and Royal London Short Duration Global Index Linked Bonds fund were also awarded an active rating and are both managed by Gareth Hill and Paul Rayner. RSMR said that both funds had a “longstanding team which is high conviction in its approach but also pragmatic in its execution of the strategy”.
Artemis Corporate Bond fund, also ranked active, with RSMR praising manager Stephen Snowden.
“The fund management team at Artemis has built a great reputation for managing fixed interest securities and a major reason for this is Stephen Snowden’s leadership,” RSMR said.
“Snowden has good track record of outperforming his peers over the long term at his previous houses and Artemis has provided him and his team a good home to continue managing corporate bonds. The investment process is well defined but flexible enough to take advantage of opportunities as they arise.”
An absolute return fund, the Ruffer Diversified Return fund, was also awarded the RSMR Active rating. RSMR said that the fund had “an absolute return mentality as a core part of the investment philosophy. This has led it to perform very strongly in both relative and absolute terms over the longer term.”
Three funds were categorised as RSMR Responsible rating at the end of last month. The Federated Hermes Impact Opportunities fund and Montanaro Better World fund are both offshore funds that were awarded the rating, while the onshore version of the latter, the LF Montanaro Better World fund, also received the rating.
Montanaro sought external counsel from the United Nations for their fund, but RSMR noted that “it is interesting they have not pursued solely the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) but instead derived their own six high level themes that incorporate subthemes”.
RSMR added that the Federated Hermes fund “may have a place as a small holding/satellite position in higher risk responsible portfolios, where the target investor is looking for clear demonstrable evidence of a positive impact”.
The EdenTree Responsible & Sustainable Managed Income fund, which achieved a responsible rating, now holds both an RSMR Active rating and Responsible rating.
RSMR said that the fund provided “investors with a balance of negative and positive screening criteria, not only looking to screen out companies that do not meet more traditional ethical criteria but supporting and engaging with companies taking a more positive ethical, social and environmental and corporate governance approach”.