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Funds round up: Liontrust, Neptune and more
11/08/2017 , News Team

The BlackRock ETP Landscape report for July 2017 showed that global ETP flows during the month lead to a new annual record for equity funds. Industry flows of $39.6 billion brought the year-to-date total to the verge of a new annual record and were driven by $25.8 billion for equity funds, which pushed the year-to-date total for the asset class to a new full-year high of $257.8 billion. Additionally, fixed income brought in another $13.7 billion led by investment grade corporate which gathered $4.8 billion, pushing year-to-date flows to $35.4 billion and topping the annual record set in 2016.

The FCA published an Occasional Paper on investment platforms’ recommendations of funds, drawing on work done as part of the asset management market study, and found that recommended funds exhibit “significantly better past performance” than the non-recommended funds. The paper also found that recommended funds perform significantly better after recommendation than non-recommended funds. In addition, recommended funds are less costly to investors in fee terms, and a significantly higher percentage of affiliated than non-affiliated funds are on recommended lists. Head of investment research at Hargreaves Lansdown, Mark Dampier, said: “Recommended funds are giving investors the dual benefits of better performance and lower costs, evidencing how investment teams help people to make good decisions”.

Following the appointment of David Roberts and Phil Milburn, both from Kames Capital, to its fixed income team in Edinburgh in early 2018, Liontrust is to launch three new bond funds. Subject to regulatory approval, Liontrust will be launching a Strategic Bond Fund, High Yield Bond Fund and Absolute Return Bond Fund. As reported by thewealthnet, Mr Roberts and Mr Milburn are expected to 'expand' the company’s “fund management capability” and ‘strengthen’ its fixed income proposition.

Following the departure of manager Patrick Close, Neptune Investment Management plans to close the US Mid Cap fund. Neptune is applying to the Financial Conduct Authority to close the fund, which attracted £500,000 in assets since its launch last year, due to lower than expected investor demand, meaning it would not be cost efficient to keep running the portfolio. Manager of the Neptune US Opportunities fund, Ali Unwin, and George Boyd-Bowman, manager of the Neptune US Income Fund and Neptune Global Income funds, will manage the fund until the proposed closure. All existing holders have been notified about the proposed closure.

Fund ratings provider RSMR added Brewin Dolphin and Quilter Cheviot to its list of rated Discretionary Fund Managers (DFMs), following completion of a full review process. Launched in March, RSMR’s DFM rating system initially awarded ratings to six DFMs - Brooks Macdonald, Cazenove, Close Brothers, Rathbones, 7IM and Standard Life Wealth. The DFM ratings are provided as part of the marketing support to advisers to aid their research and due diligence process. According to RSMR, the ratings have been developed to meet adviser demand for additional clarity in the selection as well as the use of DFMs.

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