Our Services Manager Research

We have a multi-award-winning fund manager research team that focuses on combining both qualitative and quantitative views into our process. Below, we show our 16-factor process that acts as a long-standing guide to analysts. Over time, our track record is strong; positively rated investment strategies have added good excess returns and negatively rated strategies have underperformed.

How we evaluate fund managers

We are known for our detailed research that looks under the surface of funds and investment strategies and involves writing detailed reports based on our findings.
How are we adding value?
  • We have a comprehensive track record tracking each rating
  • Negative ratings save clients from poor funds
  • We have a pioneering approach to using data to assess managers
  • Often ex investors are involved in interviewing managers
  • Each rating is peer reviewed
  • We leave no stone unturned

About Manager Research Ratings

Each investment strategy is rated according to three categories:
This is our top rating. We are satisfied that this offering is managed according to a well-considered process which is applied consistently and supported by the business, that we believe is likely to add value over time.
This is a good fund or strategy, however we have some minor concerns which may be related to people, process or business. In our view the odds of adding value remain positive, but not significantly.
This is a negatively rated strategy. We have one or more fundamental concerns about aspects of this strategy and believe there are better alternatives. We also believe the odds of this strategy adding value are low.

How we select funds to rate

We aim to rate investment strategies which are in the best interests of our clients. Our research is largely client driven, based on their needs, but we conduct an ongoing market assessment to see if there are additional investment strategies which we need to cover.

If you are a fund manager, please click here to see how best to interact with us
Currently we cover:
  • Funds and separate accounts
  • Onshore and offshore funds
  • Open ended and closed ended strategies
  • Single asset class and multi-asset class strategies
  • Alternatives
  • Active and passives
  • Strategies from large institutions as well as smaller boutiques

The Rating Process

We cover each investment strategy comprehensively by following the steps below.

Information Gathering

For each investment strategy we gather supporting information and evidence to be able to evaluate the management of the strategy. This includes detailed due diligence questionnaires completed by the fund manager, as well as our own research. We also perform analytical studies on each strategy using independent tools, and we evaluate the fund managers' own analysis.

Fund Manager Visit

We interact with, and visit fund managers, to test that the day-to-day management of the investment strategy is in line with what is expected and documented. We aim to avoid marketing presentations wherever possible, and prefer to drive these sessions through informed questioning. We aim to establish if a strategy is credibly managed, how the team works as a unit and various other elements which provide context.

Rating Meeting

Each team member arrives at an independent assessment of the investment strategy. We then debate the rating elements until we have clarity on which Tier Rating should be allocated.

Peer Review

It is important that we subject our draft fund manager research ratings to an internal peer review. Usually this happens each Friday and the entire team are involved. As part of this process, our colleagues aim to critically review our findings and arrive at their own ratings for each fund. Quite often ratings are rejected and more work is needed by the analyst.

Review Process

All rated strategies are monitored on an ongoing basis, and a material change in any aspect of the strategy's management - be it business or investment related - will trigger a review. If there are no material changes in the interim, our intention is to formally review all investment strategies we have rated on a 12-to-18 month review cycle.

Fund Manager Feedback

Part of our process is to provide the fund manager with open, transparent feedback of our findings, which allows the fund manager to challenge our findings and forces us to ensure that our views are evidence-based as far as possible.