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Fund commentaries

To help you build your diversified portfolio, our Funds List includes a number of funds in each of these key investment sectors. This should make it easier for you to narrow down your choices, without narrowing the breadth of your investment view. Our fund commentaries below offer some insight into why our experts chose these funds to go on the Barclays Funds List.

Select funds
  • A-H

    Artemis Income Fund

    • The fund's aim is simple – to provide investors with a steady and growing income along with long-term capital growth. The fund mainly invests in UK companies, but it does have the flexibility to invest overseas when attractive opportunities arise. Its holdings tend to be stable, well-established businesses with the financial strength to pay solid dividends to their shareholders.

    • The Artemis Income Fund is one of the stalwarts of the UK Equity Income market. And it’s easy to understand why – an experienced team adhering to a simple, but successful, investment philosophy, has delivered strong long term returns and a sustainable income stream, that warrants its place on the Barclays Funds List. The investment philosophy is important. The team believe that companies with strong balance sheets, sustainable cash flows and attractive valuations are best placed to grow their dividends over time, while also delivering capital growth for shareholders. The fund’s three managers – Adrian Frost, Nick Shenton and Andy Marsh – plough all their resources into looking for attractive companies to invest in, rather than trying to predict what will happen to the economy. This sound investment philosophy has been applied consistently over time.

    • Artemis is a UK-based company founded in 1997, since when assets have grown to around £27.7bn as of 30th November 2018. The company is majority owned by Affiliated Managers Group (AMG), who own 60% of the firm’s equity, whilst the management team (including Adrian Frost, Fund Manager of the Artemis Income Fund) and principal employees own 40%. Adrian Frost has managed the Income fund since its inception in 2000. The team also draws upon the other UK equity portfolio managers at Artemis, several of whom have successful and large strategies that they have also run for around a decade at the firm.

      Investments can fall in value. You may get back less than you invested. These are our current opinions but the future, as ever, is uncertain and outcomes may differ. Past performance of the fund and its manager are not a reliable indicator of their future performance.

    Aviva Investors Multi Strategy Target Return Fund

    • Unlike the majority of active fund managers, who rely on individual bond and stock picking, this fund takes a ‘top down’ approach, so the companies it invests in are based on the team’s view of the global macro-economic landscape. It’s a multi-asset fund, which means it can invest globally across all types of investment, and aims to produce a positive return over any rolling three-year period, regardless of the performance of bond and stock markets over that time frame.

      The target return is ‘cash’ plus 5%. Cash, in this instance, is defined as the Bank of England base rate. In order to achieve its target, the fund can invest in more complex investment products which enable it to benefit from falling share and bond prices, as well as rising.

    • Despite sitting within the Alternatives asset class, which is generally associated with higher fees, the fund is run at a relatively low cost. The team is well resourced compared to peers, and is a flagship product for Aviva Investors, giving us comfort that Aviva will continue to invest in the resources and talent required to continuously drive performance. The fund also acts a good diversifying investment in a traditional portfolio.

    • Aviva Investors is the investment arm of Aviva plc – a multinational financial services company which has a strong business in the European, Asian, Canadian and UK general insurance markets. The firm is responsible for managing £330bn in assets as of 31st January 2019, with over 1,500 staff. Key decision makers Peter Fitzgerald, Dan James, Ian Pizer have a long and successful career managing multi-asset strategies.

      Investments can fall in value. You may get back less than you invested. These are our current opinions but the future, as ever, is uncertain and outcomes may differ. Past performance of the fund and its manager are not a reliable indicator of their future performance. Counterparty risk: the fund could lose money if an entity with which it does business becomes unwilling or is unable to meet its obligations to the Fund.

    BlackRock Continental European Income Fund

    • The name of the fund speaks for itself – it aims to deliver an income to investors by buying shares in European companies (excluding the UK) that pay a high dividend. However, it also aims to achieve good long-term growth so as well as generating a good income, you will hopefully see the value of your investment increase over time.  It does this by applying a more flexible approach to investing than many equity income funds. Rather than investing in large companies, which often pay good dividends, the fund manager tends to look at mid-sized businesses which pay dividends and have strong growth prospects.

    • This is a dynamic approach to income investing in European shares managed by one of the most experienced and talented European teams. The flexibility of the strategy means that the managers go beyond the obvious income sectors and are very reactive when trading around positions. The long term track record has been strong and this fund has fared well during periods of volatility.

    • BlackRock is among the largest and most diversified independent asset managers in the world. BlackRock is a market leader in both active funds, such as this, and passive funds, including ETFs and tracker. The breadth and experience of the European team at BlackRock is a key advantage, to which we give great significance. The fund manager, Andreas Zoellinger, launched the fund in 2011 and has been managing it since then, having built up a strong and credible performance track record.

      Investments can fall in value. You may get back less than you invested. These are our current opinions but the future, as ever, is uncertain and outcomes may differ. Past performance of the fund and its manager are not a reliable indicator of their future performance.

    BlackRock European Dynamic Fund

    • This fund invests in European shares (excluding the UK) and the manager, Alister Hibbert, isn’t constrained as to what he must invest in. Instead, he can take a dynamic approach and invest a substantial proportion of the fund into industries and sectors that may only represent a small part of the market, if that’s where he believes the best opportunities lie. The fund also typically invests in 40 to 60 companies, which is fewer than average and means Hibbert can be very focused in terms of targeting the areas he regards as having the strongest growth potential. Because of this dynamic and active approach to investing, we believe the fund has the potential to perform well in all market conditions.

    • This is a dynamic fund is managed by one of the most experienced and talented European fund managers. Alister is also supported by a very strong team.  We believe this is really important as their experience and rigorous research process helps drive successful stock selection and ultimately performance returns.

    • BlackRock is among the largest and most diversified independent asset managers in the world. It is a market leader in both active funds, such as this, and passive funds, including ETFs and Trackers. The breadth and experience of the European team at BlackRock is a key advantage, to which we give great significance. Not only has Alister Hibbert been managing the fund since 2008, but he can leverage from BlackRock’s other European fund managers, who have also have strong track records.

      Investments can fall in value. You may get back less than you invested. These are our current opinions but the future, as ever, is uncertain and outcomes may differ. Past performance of the fund and its manager are not a reliable indicator of their future performance.

    Fidelity Asia Fund

    • The fund invests in companies located across the Asian Pacific Basin, excluding Japan, stretching from India and China to Indonesia and Thailand. It’s managed by Teera Chanpongsang, who joined Fidelity in 1994 and has extensive experience investing across Asian stock markets. He tries to identify companies that he believes have strong long-term growth prospects which haven’t yet been spotted by investors more widely, meaning the share price looks good value. The fund typically invests in the shares of around 90 companies at any one time. It’s important to appreciate that Chanpongsang’s approach is all about focussing on individual companies, rather than taking a call on how stock markets will move.

    • There are numerous funds out there that follow a similar strategy of looking for strong companies that have potential to grow their earnings at a higher rate than the market is expecting. But there are three things which we believe sets the Fidelity Asia Fund apart. First, Chanpongsang’s experience – he has a long and successful track record in fund management. Second, Fidelity has one of the largest teams of analysts in Asia which is critical in terms of its research capability. And finally, the team and manager have followed the same robust investment process for years. These three factors together have resulted in a formidable performance track record for investors.

    • Fidelity International was established in 1969 as the international arm of Fidelity Investments, which was founded in Boston in 1946. Fidelity is among the largest asset management firm globally. Teera Chanpongsang is has a long experience in investing in Asian equities and is supported by a team of 65 analysts based predominantly in Hong Kong, but also in Seoul, Delhi, Mumbai and Singapore.

      Investments can fall in value. You may get back less than you invested. These are our current opinions but the future, as ever, is uncertain and outcomes may differ. Past performance of the fund and its manager are not a reliable indicator of their future performance.

    Fidelity Moneybuilder Income Fund

    • This fund is a bond fund, and it invests predominantly in ‘investment grade’ corporate bonds. Investment grade bonds are issued by business which are regarded as being secure and likely to be able to repay the debt, as a bond is effectively a loan to a company.  This means it is classed as a relatively low risk investment, although there is still a chance that they could fail to pay and you could lose money. Also, the fund primarily invests in companies that issue bonds in sterling. This doesn’t mean it only invests in UK companies, as some European and global firms issue sterling denominated bonds, but it helps with the overall investment risk as you don’t have to worry about currency movements.

    • It is important to have exposure to bonds as part of a diversified investment portfolio. They tend to be lower risk and pay a higher income than many shares. We like this fund because it’s managed by two experienced managers, Sajiv Vaid and Kristian Atkinson, and has generally delivered consistent performance over time. The fund combines the fund managers’ view on global markets and economies, together with a strong team of analysts looking at individual companies on an individual basis.

    • Fidelity International was established in 1969 as the international arm of Fidelity Investments, which was founded in Boston in 1946. This Fund had been managed successfully by Ian Spreadbury since 1995. In order to plan for Spreadbury’s impending retirement, Fidelity recruited two experienced managers – Saj Vaid and Kristian Atkinson – who took on the reigns and eventually succeeded Spreadbury as managers of the fund in 2019. The process of handing over the fund was very well managed, such that we have full confidence in Saj and Kristian as capable successors, and that the style and aim of the fund will not change.

      Investments and the income from them can fall in value. You may get back less than you invested. These are our current opinions but the future, as ever, is uncertain and outcomes may differ. Past performance of the fund and its manager are not a reliable indicator of their future performance.

  • I-Q

    Invesco Corporate Bond Fund

    • This fund invests predominantly in ‘investment grade’ corporate bonds. Investment grade bonds are issued by business which are regarded as being secure and likely to be able to repay the debt, as a bond is effectively a loan to a company.  This means it is classed as a relatively low risk investment, although there is still a chance that they could fail to pay and you could lose money. Also, the fund primarily invests in companies that issue bonds in sterling. This doesn’t mean it only invests in UK companies, as some European and global firms issue sterling denominated bonds, but it helps with the overall investment risk as you don’t have to worry about currency movements.

    • It is important to have exposure to bonds as part of a diversified investment portfolio. They tend to be lower risk and pay a higher income than many shares. We like this fund because it’s led by two of the longest standing managers in this market space and is supported by a well-resourced team. The fund has a more flexible investment approach than many other bond funds and the managers look for the best opportunities based on the level of risk they are prepared to take. Overall returns from the best bond funds tend to be lower than the top funds that invest in shares, but as well as producing a good level of income, this fund also aims to deliver attractive long term returns.

    • Invesco is one of the largest investment managers in the UK. The Corporate Bond Fund has been co-managed by Paul Causer and Paul Read, who are co-heads of Fixed Income at Invesco, for over 20 years. They were joined by Mike Matthews in 2013. This is a very experienced and well respected team in the UK corporate bond market, which now consists of six investment professionals. Paul Causer and Paul Read are now supported by two fund managers, six deputy fund managers with analyst responsibilities, seven credit analysts and five traders.

      Investments and the income from them can fall in value. You may get back less than you invested. These are our current opinions but the future, as ever, is uncertain and outcomes may differ. Past performance of the fund and its manager are not a reliable indicator of their future performance.

    Invesco European Equity Fund

    • The fund invests in the shares of companies across Continental Europe, which means not the UK. The main focus of the fund manager and his team, is to look for companies where there’s a likely change on the horizon that could result in the share price rising strongly, meaning the shares currently appear quite cheap compared with their peers. Examples include a possible change in management; a change in strategy of the business, or even a change in the market that the company is engaged in. Essentially, it’s all about looking for any factors that would potentially make a weak company stronger or a strong company even stronger. The fund typically invests in around 50 holdings, and the team takes a long term horizon with every investment they make.

    • Since the financial crisis in 2008 the number of funds which have this focus on valuations (known as a ‘value’ approach to investing) in Europe has declined significantly, mainly because a lot of these companies have remained ‘out of favour’ for many years, which means this approach to investing has underperformed. The Invesco European Equity Fund, managed by Jeff Taylor, has been among the very few to keep its valuation approach unchanged despite these types of headwinds and its long term performance has been excellent though, of course, past performance of investments is not a reliable indicator of their future performance. Jeff’s experience in running European equities, the team stability and a strong investment culture are among the key strengths of the strategy.

    • Invesco is one of the world’s leading independent global investment firms, solely focused on investment management. Senior management believe in long term performance rather than focusing on short term performance. Jeff has been lead portfolio manager since January 2001 and has considerable experience in managing both this strategy and European equities. Even when value investing has been out of favour and generally underperformed, this fund bucked the trend and has performed consistently well.

      Investments can fall in value. You may get back less than you invested. These are our current opinions but the future, as ever, is uncertain and outcomes may differ. Past performance of the fund and its manager are not a reliable indicator of their future performance.

    Invesco Global Targeted Returns Fund

    • Unlike the majority of active fund managers, who rely on individual bond and stock picking, this fund takes a ‘top down’ approach, meaning investment decisions are based on the team’s views on markets, rather than its view of individual companies. It is a multi-asset fund, so it can hold a mixture of investments such as shares and bonds, and it can invest globally. It aims to produce a positive return over any rolling three-year period, regardless of the performance of stock and bond markets over that time frame. The target annual return is ‘cash’ plus 5%. The Fund is aiming to deliver a return above what a typical instant access bank account would pay, but without the volatility that you would normally experience when investing in shares. In order to achieve its target, the fund can invest in more complex investment products which enable it to benefit from falling share and bond prices, as well as rising.

    • The ‘traditional’ element of this fund – investments in shares and bonds – is based on Invesco’s economic view of which global regions it expects to perform well. Although the fund holds traditional investments, such as shares and bonds – it can also make use of more complex products, such as derivatives. Because of the way they work, these give the opportunity to make money even if the stock markets or bond markets are falling – so this fund can generate positive returns whatever the market conditions, but as ever, this is not guaranteed and you might get back less than you invested. We therefore think it can act as a diversifier within a wider portfolio of equity and bond investments. The fees on this type of fund are often higher than average, however this is run at a relatively low cost, with no performance fee.

      It is important to be aware that derivatives are not investments that are actively traded on the stock exchange, like shares, rather they involve the Fund Manager making an investment ‘contract’ with another investment professional, usually a bank. The risk here is that if the bank goes bust, there is potential to lose the amount of money that is tied up in that contract.

    • Invesco is one of the largest investment managers in the UK. The highly experienced investment team consists of over 70 investment professionals with a strong culture of independent thinking. Invesco is one of the world’s leading independent global investment firms, solely focused on investment management. The Multi-asset team has 12 investment professionals solely focused on targeted return strategies. The team is headed by David Millar. He is the final portfolio decision-making authority along with Richard Batty, David Jubb and Sebastian Mackay.

      Investments can fall in value. You may get back less than you invested. These are our current opinions but the future, as ever, is uncertain and outcomes may differ. Past performance of the fund and its manager are not a reliable indicator of their future performance. Counterparty risk: the fund could lose money if an entity with which it does business becomes unwilling or is unable to meet its obligations to the Fund.

    Investec Emerging Markets Equity Fund

    • This fund takes, what we describe as a ‘core’ approach to investing in companies in Emerging Markets. The management team looks to identify high quality companies (that exhibit, for example, strong management, robust earnings and growing cash flows) that are attractively valued. The other major factor that influences their investment decisions is ‘momentum’ – this is where certain industries, sectors or individual companies are receiving such strong attention from investors, that the share prices of these businesses continue to rally. The key to successful momentum investing is deciding when is the right time to sell out of the shares (usually more important than the decision when to buy).

    • Managers of Emerging Markets funds can invest across 24 countries, with around 3,000 individual companies to choose from. Countries such as China and India, and companies such as Samsung and Alibaba, dominate the market, but beneath these lie a multitude of potential investment opportunities, each of which requires a great deal of analysis and research to understand. Identifying the best investment opportunities is therefore no easy task. We believe the team at Investec is one of a small number in the marketplace that has the breadth, depth, experience and expertise to navigate this space. Coupled with this, Investec has stuck to a tried and tested investment process by which they construct their portfolios and manage the fund. The long term performance track record is testament to this.

    • Investec Asset Management was founded as a small start-up in South Africa in 1991 and has, over the last two decades, evolved into a global investment manager. The Investec Emerging Markets Equity Team is led by Archie Hart, the lead fund manager of this fund, and draws upon a team of 10 analysts. Each analyst is allocated a sector (e.g. Financials, Industrials or Telecoms) and the whole team is very experienced. Very few people have left the team over the years, which to us signifies an operation that is working well, and where staff enjoy their roles and environment.

      This funds holds investments valued in currencies other than pound sterling. Any fall in value of those currencies against the pound sterling would reduce the investments’ values in terms of sterling. Conversely any rise in a currency’s sterling value would bring about a rise in the investments’ values in terms of sterling.

      Investments can fall in value. You may get back less than you invested. These are our current opinions but the future, as ever, is uncertain and outcomes may differ. Past performance of the fund and its manager are not a reliable indicator of their future performance.

    Janus Henderson Asian Dividend Income Fund

    • Whilst there are a healthy number of funds that invest in Asian equities, only a few focus on delivering a high income yield. The investment team at Janus Henderson believes Asia offers attractive income opportunities based on an abundance of companies that are generating lots of cash, which they are paying out as dividends rather than reinvesting it back into the business. This is in part due to the ageing populations in Asia who are looking for investments that pay an income. The fund’s investment process focuses on finding companies that have strong and growing cash flows, which the manager believes not only supports sustainable dividends, but also leads to share price growth.

    • Like all investment funds on the Barclays Funds List, the Janus Henderson Asian Dividend Income Fund has the essential combination of a robust and repeatable investment process that is adhered to by two strong fund managers and the team around them. The team sticks to a tried and tested investment process which includes more than 1,000 company meetings every year as they try to identify the companies most likely to produce strong cash flows and good dividend yields.

    • Janus Henderson was formed in 2017 from the merger of Janus Capital group and Henderson Global Investors. The new combined entity is headquartered in London with more than 2,000 employees. This fund is co-managed by Michael Kerley and Sat Dhura who are both very experienced in running Asia income. Henderson has a team of seven investment professionals focused on the Pan-Asian Equity region who are based in London and Singapore.

      This funds holds investments valued in currencies other than pound sterling. Any fall in value of those currencies against the pound sterling would reduce the investments’ values in terms of sterling. Conversely any rise in a currency’s sterling value would bring about a rise in the investments’ values in terms of sterling.

      Investments can fall in value. You may get back less than you invested. These are our current opinions but the future, as ever, is uncertain and outcomes may differ. Past performance of the fund and its manager are not a reliable indicator of their future performance.

    Janus Henderson Global Equity Income Fund

    • The underlying philosophy behind this fund is the manager’s belief that it is possible to outperform the wider market by focusing on companies that pay out above-average dividends. By managing a portfolio of such companies, and ensuring the dividends are growing, investors should expect the majority of returns to come from those dividends payments. Whilst investors requiring income from their investments can have the fund’s dividends paid out to them, the potential to outperform the market comes from the ability to reinvest those dividends year after year – a process known as ‘compounding’. This makes the fund suitable for investors looking for growth as well.

    • Janus Henderson has a very strong and established team managing global income since 2006. The fund managers, Andrew Jones and Ben Lofthouse, are supported by one of the largest teams of analysts in the global equity income sector and they can utilise the research and insight from the other fund managers and analysts across the firm. This helps them identify the best investment opportunities across multiple geographical regions. We believe these resources and experience of the team are the main reasons why this fund has performed strongly when compared to other global equity income funds.

    • Janus Henderson was formed in 2017 from the merger of Janus Capital group and Henderson Global Investors. The Janus Henderson Global Equity Income Fund is managed by Andrew Jones and Ben Lofthouse, who are supported by the wider Global Equity Income team. The team of nine investment professionals manages approximately £10bn.

      This funds holds investments valued in currencies other than pound sterling. Any fall in value of those currencies against the pound sterling would reduce the investments’ values in terms of sterling. Conversely any rise in a currency’s sterling value would bring about a rise in the investments’ values in terms of sterling.

      Investments can fall in value. You may get back less than you invested. These are our current opinions but the future, as ever, is uncertain and outcomes may differ. Past performance of the fund and its manager are not a reliable indicator of their future performance.

    Janus Henderson Global Sustainable Equity Fund

    • The underlying aim of this fund is to deliver capital growth to investors by investing in a range of companies from all over the world. But it also has the additional element that it only invests in global companies whose products and services are considered by the fund manager, Hamish Chamberlayne, to be contributing to positive environmental or social change and thereby contributing to the development of a sustainable global economy. Likewise, the fund will avoid investing in companies that the manager considers to potentially have a negative impact on the development of a sustainable global economy (examples include companies that are engaged in the production of or distribution/sale of tobacco, armaments and animal fur).

    • There are an increasing number of Impact funds but what makes the Janus Henderson Global Sustainable Equity Fund stand out is the combination of a unique and robust philosophy determining which companies can and can’t make it into the portfolio, together with a long track record in managing such an approach. One of the things we like about this fund, is how the investment approach isn’t just about avoiding companies perceived to have a negative effect on people, the environment and animals, but that Hamish is also looking to invest in companies that proactively have a positive impact towards the development of a sustainable global economy. And he’s demonstrated the ability to deliver strong performance returns for investors, while adhering to this approach.

    • Janus Henderson was formed in 2017 from the merger of Janus Capital group and Henderson Global Investors. Hamish Chamberlayne is the lead fund manager for the Janus Henderson Global Sustainable Equity Fund. But he’s also supported by the Global Equity Team, over 50 fund managers and more than 25 analysts covering different geographical regions – effectively helping him and his team choose the best ideas in the firm. The team is also supported by Henderson’s Governance and Responsible Investment (GRI) team which is responsible for managing, implementing and integrating responsible investment policies and processes across the wider Janus Henderson Group. They will work on identifying companies with high levels of environmental, social and governance risk.

      This funds holds investments valued in currencies other than pound sterling. Any fall in value of those currencies against the pound sterling would reduce the investments’ values in terms of sterling. Conversely any rise in a currency’s sterling value would bring about a rise in the investments’ values in terms of sterling.

      Investments can fall in value. You may get back less than you invested. These are our current opinions but the future, as ever, is uncertain and outcomes may differ. Past performance of the fund and its manager are not a reliable indicator of their future performance.

    Janus Henderson UK Absolute Return Fund

    • The vast majority of fund managers aim to make money for their investors by buying shares in companies they believe offer value, in the hope that the share prices will appreciate. What sets this fund apart, is that the managers can also make money by identifying shares they think will fall in value. This practice is known as ‘shorting’ a company, and involves selling the shares of that company in the hope of buying them back at a lower price in the future. By combining these two methods and applying them to UK companies, this fund aims to deliver positive returns in all market conditions and be less volatile than funds that aren’t allowed to ‘short’ shares. However, it’s not guaranteed and as with all investing, there is a chance that the value of your investment could fall.

    • The two lead fund managers, Ben Wallace and Luke Newman, use an effective approach to managing the fund, where they effectively run two strategies: The first is a ‘core’ portfolio, where they invest in companies they believe have good long-term growth prospects. They also run a ‘tactical’ portfolio, which aims to take advantage of short term market anomalies. What we also like is Ben and Luke have quite distinct styles, which complement each other very well. Ben provides a more analytical and detail-oriented approach, and takes the lead on portfolio management. Luke focuses on overseeing the team and managing client relationships. Together, the duo has fostered a strong team culture as well as a successful performance track record.

    • Janus Henderson was formed in 2017 from the merger of Janus Capital group and Henderson Global Investors. The two lead fund managers, Luke Newman and Ben Wallace, worked together very early in their careers, and got back together again in 2005 to run this fund. They also have access to a strong and experienced team of analysts.

      Investments can fall in value. You may get back less than you invested. These are our current opinions but the future, as ever, is uncertain and outcomes may differ. Past performance of the fund and its manager are not a reliable indicator of their future performance. Counterparty risk: the fund could lose money if an entity with which it does business becomes unwilling or is unable to meet its obligations to the Fund.

    JO Hambro UK Equity Income Fund

    • This is a large and successful fund managed by two experienced fund managers – Clive Beagles and James Lowen. The two managers have an ‘equity income’ approach to investing, which means they are aiming to deliver a steady, if not rising, income as well as capital growth. They invest in the shares of dividend-paying firms, in other words companies that share their profits, with their shareholders. The fund also invests in medium sized companies and smaller companies, which has benefited performance over the long term, in comparison to funds focused on larger companies.

    • Like all good funds, there is an underlying philosophy which drives the process of picking companies to invest in, and ultimately performance. Clive and James are very well respected and experienced as we like this fund because of the disciplined and rigorous approach they take identifying the companies they want to invest in.

    • JO Hambro Capital Management is a London-based fund management company, owned by Pendal Group, a listed Australian fund management group. Key investment staff, including the managers of this fund, have equity stakes in the business, which we believe helps align the interest of investors and fund managers. Clive Beagles and James Lowen are two of the most highly regarded UK equity income managers in the market today, and have managed this fund together for over 10 years. Whilst similar funds may have larger teams of analysts and researchers, we believe the process and the disciplined nature of their yield screening approach lends itself to being carried out by a two-person team.

      Investments can fall in value. You may get back less than you invested. These are our current opinions but the future, as ever, is uncertain and outcomes may differ. Past performance of the fund and its manager are not a reliable indicator of their future performance.

    JP Morgan US Equity Income Fund

    • This is fund that invests in the shares of US companies, with the aim of delivering an income to investors of 1% higher than that of the S&P 500 Index. It’s not all about generating an income though – the fund also seeks to generate long-term capital growth.  The underlying process behind investment decisions, centres around the belief that companies which have a proven track record of consistently generating high levels of cash should be able to grow their earnings over the long term. The lead fund manager, Clare Hart, and her team, have stuck to this process since the fund was launched in 2008, the results of which is the strong performance track record.

    • In our eyes, this is a reliable equity income product managed by an experienced portfolio management team which is able to take advantage of JP Morgan’s vast resources. Medium to long term performance has been strong, though we are aware that it has underperformed recently when the likes of technology stocks (which typically don’t pay dividends, and therefore aren’t widely held within this fund) have performed well. However, if you’re looking for a US fund to add to your investment portfolio, we still believe this should deliver good returns over the longer term.

    • The fund is managed by JP Morgan Asset Management, head headquartered in New York, with additional investment management offices in London, Frankfurt, Columbus (Ohio), Tokyo, Hong Kong and Singapore. The fund benefits from the large and experienced team, which covers all industries and sectors. The diversity of the team facilitates a forum in which ideas are challenged and debated. Fund Manager Clare Hart is able to take advantage of the large team of analysts at JP Morgan, to search for investment ideas.

      Investments can fall in value. You may get back less than you invested. These are our current opinions but the future, as ever, is uncertain and outcomes may differ. Past performance of the fund and its manager are not a reliable indicator of their future performance.

    Jupiter Ecology Fund

    • The world of ‘ethical’ investing has changed over the years, with a focus today on ‘impact’ investing. Whereas traditional ethical investing is about not investing in companies who are deemed to be unethical in their practices or markets/products, impact investing is about the social and/or environmental impact that companies are making – it’s more a focus on companies that are delivering positive outcomes. This fund sits in the impact investing space, focusing on companies around the world which demonstrate a positive commitment to the long-term protection of the environment.

    • There have been lots of new impact funds launched in recent years, but the Jupiter Ecology fund has been around since 1988 and it has always followed the same investment approach. Manager, Charlie Thomas, has been running the fund since 2003. He is backed by a team that is expert in environmental solutions, which again sets this fund out against much of the competition. The fund has produced strong returns, but is quite high risk in its approach because it tends to have a high exposure to industrial companies and to smaller sized companies. It can therefore be more volatile than the UK stock market as a whole i.e. the fund’s share price is likely to experience greater rises and falls in value than many other UK funds. Over the long-term we believe it continues to offer good growth prospects but you need to be prepared for some ups and downs along the way.

    • Jupiter is a UK based company, founded in 1985 and has grown to become a well-respected and successful fund management business. Their philosophy revolves around a belief that fund managers should be given complete freedom to run their funds without constraints, in order to deliver performance. As such, Jupiter has a strong track record in attracting talented individuals to build on this success. The Environmental and Sustainable Investment team consists of two managers and two analysts. Charlie Thomas is the lead fun manager of the Ecology Fund and heads up the team overall. He has 19 years’ industry experience and 15 years’ experience managing global environmental and sustainable portfolios.

      Investments can fall in value. You may get back less than you invested. These are our current opinions but the future, as ever, is uncertain and outcomes may differ. Past performance of the fund and its manager are not a reliable indicator of their future performance.

    Jupiter European Fund

    • The fund invests in companies based in countries across continental mainland Europe (i.e. excluding the UK), and it aims to achieve long-term capital growth. The Fund will typically invest in about 40 companies at any one time, which we would call a concentrated approach. This configuration may well increase potential for performance, because the fund managers can focus on the few stocks contained in the portfolio. However, the flip side is potentially poorer performance and higher volatility, as each holding has the potential to cause greater damage to returns if the company in question is not successful. The fund managers, Mark Nichols and Mark Heslop, look for world class companies, that happen to be based in Europe. They specifically look for companies who produce products or services in markets where there are few competitors and where demand for them is consistently strong – a good example being sports manufacturer Adidas. They believe this gives those companies an ability to consistently grow their earnings in the future.

    • The two fund managers only joined Jupiter in late 2019, taking over the Fund when the previous fund manager (Alexander Darwall) left the company. Jupiter had a big job on their hands, to try to replace one of the most successful European fund managers of Darwall’s generation, but we believe they have done a good job by appointing Nichols and Heslop. They both have many years of European equity experience and we believe their straightforward approach to managing money augurs well for the performance of this fund in the future.

    • Jupiter is a UK based company, founded in 1985 and has grown to become a well-respected and successful fund management business. Their philosophy revolves around a belief that fund managers should be given complete freedom to run their funds without constraints, in order to deliver performance. As such, Jupiter has a strong track record in attracting talented individuals. Nichols and Heslop have worked side-by-side at their previous employer, Columbia Threadneedle, for over 5 years, and share the same belief and approach to managing a fund.

      This funds holds investments valued in currencies other than pound sterling. Any fall in value of those currencies against the pound sterling would reduce the investments’ values in terms of sterling. Conversely any rise in a currency’s sterling value would bring about a rise in the investments’ values in terms of sterling.

      Investments can fall in value. You may get back less than you invested These are our current opinions but the future, as ever, is uncertain and outcomes may differ. Past performance of the fund and its manager are not a reliable indicator of their future performance.

    Jupiter Strategic Bond Fund

    • Bonds are typically less volatile than shares i.e. rises and falls in their values tends to be less so they provide an effective way to diversify and help reduce the overall risk of an investment portfolio. They also give an attractive yield – income.  However, bonds are more complex than shares, and there are different types of bonds – some more risky than others.  It therefore makes sense to diversify further, by investing across the many different parts of the bond market. This fund aims to do just that, by giving the fund manager the freedom to invest in all parts of the bond market, from government bonds to corporate bonds, and from the highest rated markets of the developed world all the way through to those of emerging markets which are considered higher-risk. Hence the name, a ‘strategic’ bond fund.

    • There are a lot of strategic bond funds to choose from, and they all do different things. What we like about the Jupiter Strategic Bond Fund is the manager has no constraints, which means he has full freedom to invest in any part of the bond market and seek out the most attractive investment opportunities. This flexibility also enables the manager to seek shelter in more defensive areas of the market, when the outlook for bonds is more challenging. And behind this process is an experienced team which helps keep the level of risk in check and aims to ensure returns are consistent.

    • Jupiter is a UK based company, founded in 1985 and has grown to become a well-respected and successful fund management business. Jupiter has a strong track record in attracting talented individuals and Ariel Bezalel, fund manager of the Jupiter Strategic Bond Fund, is one such example. Ariel joined Jupiter straight from university in 1997 and has built a strong team around him to manage this fund.

      Investments can fall in value. You may get back less than you invested. These are our current opinions but the future, as ever, is uncertain and outcomes may differ. Past performance of the fund and its manager are not a reliable indicator of their future performance.

    Lazard Emerging Markets Fund

    • The fund invests in the shares of companies based in Emerging markets. It has a very distinct investment process, which is based around mispricing anomalies of companies’ shares – basically, the management team is looking for shares that look too cheap. The team does this by first looking at the value of every company, on the basis of its share price and then at how profitable it is. This helps identify it there is any misalignment and the shares are looking cheap. This kind of approach, where valuations are the primary focus, is known as ‘value’ investing – looking to find quality businesses that are simply ‘out of favour’ with investors and thus their share prices are undervalued. Sounds simple? It is… in theory. But it takes a very disciplined and dedicated approach to be able to do this successfully, which is where Lazard excels.

    • Although James Donald is the lead fund manager the fund is run with a team approach. This avoidance of relying on a single individual highlights to us the strong collaborative and cohesive culture in place at Lazard. The long experience of Lazard’s investment professionals in managing emerging markets assets, as well as a team with very low levels of staff turnover, contribute to our positive view on this fund. We are conscious that a fund that focusses on ‘out of favour’ parts of the market can underperform during periods when these companies remain out of favour. But the team’s strict adherence to an investment process and philosophy that has delivered performance over the longer term, gives us confidence that this warrants a place on the Barclays Funds List.

    • Lazard Asset Management is a subsidiary of Lazard Ltd, listed in the New York stock exchange since 2005. The Lazard group offers also investment banking and brokerage services across the globe. Lazard Asset Management is a major global investment manager and the Emerging Markets equities team comprises six experienced individuals, headed by James Donald, and based in New York.

      Investments can fall in value. You may get back less than you invested. These are our current opinions but the future, as ever, is uncertain and outcomes may differ. Past performance of the fund and its manager are not a reliable indicator of their future performance.

    Lindsell Train UK Equity Fund

    • One of the basic investment rules about buying shares, is to buy high quality companies (at the right price) and hold them for a long time. And nowhere can this be seen more vividly than in the Lindsell Train UK Equity Fund. The lead fund manager, Nick Train, looks for high quality companies with durable business models and strong brands, that produce high levels of cash flow. He then invests in these companies for the very long term. In fact, new holdings in the fund are so uncommon that the news typically make headlines in the trade media. The portfolio of UK equities is concentrated, within 25 holdings. Whilst the primary focus will be in the UK, the Fund may also invest in the shares of overseas companies.

    • The backbone of this fund is the distinct and robust investment process that sits behind every single investment. And it’s the same process that’s been followed for nearly 20 years which is why we like it – it gives us confidence about what to expect from this fund going forward. The team at Lindsell Train looks for ‘exceptional’ UK companies and they define exceptional as companies “likely to be profitably in business in 20 years’ time”. You might expect there to be lots to choose from, but in Lindsell Train’s opinion there are surprisingly few that meet this test of durability. This is one of the reasons why the fund only invests in 25 companies. The investment holdings are focused on a small number of sectors:  consumer facing businesses, specialist media, financial and technology companies. This means if for any reasons these sectors underperform the market, performance can be significantly affected. Therefore, like the fund manager, if you invest in this fund, it’s important to be investing for the long term.

    • Lindsell Train is a small but stable and long established boutique investment company that has successfully grown its business since being founded by the two partners (Nick Train and Michael Lindsell) in 2000. The company continues to be majority owned (72.5%) by the two founders, with the remainder owned by staff and a London-listed investment trust, the Lindsell Train Investment Trust PLC. He is the portfolio manager for the firm’s UK equity portfolios and jointly manages Global portfolios.

      Investments can fall in value. You may get back less than you invested. These are our current opinions but the future, as ever, is uncertain and outcomes may differ. Past performance of the fund and its manager are not a reliable indicator of their future performance.

    M&G Corporate Bond Fund

    • Corporate bonds are issued by companies as a way of raising capital which is then ploughed back into the business – as a bond investor you’re effectively lending the company money which it will then pay back with interest, known as the yield. These bonds generally have a market value during their life and this will vary depending on several factors including prevailing interest rates. But there are various types of bond reflecting different levels of risk.

      This fund invests predominantly in sterling denominated ‘investment grade’ corporate bonds which are bonds issued by large companies – the risk is therefore relatively low as these firms are highly likely to able to pay the money back, but as a result the yields also tend to be lower on investment grade bonds than higher-risk corporate bonds. The fund can also invest in non-investment grade bonds, which carry a higher risk of the issuer being unable to repay the money lent and interest when due, but this is carefully managed and there are strict restrictions on the amount of exposure the fund can have in order to manage the overall fund risk.

    • This fund offers a good way to gain exposure to the Sterling corporate bond market. It is managed by Richard Woolnough, who we believe is an excellent manager, with a strong and credible track record in this market. He is also supported by a well-resourced team. Investment decisions are taken strategically and based on the Richard’s economic outlook on global markets. This long term view is then complimented by shorter term views on specific markets and companies, which are usually driven by ideas sourced from the large team of analysts.

    • M&G was founded under its original name of Municipal and General Securities in 1901, as the financial arm of a British engineering company. M&G launched the first mutual fund in the UK for the general public in 1931, and has since concentrated on the management of investment funds. The M&G Corporate Bond Fund is managed by Richard Woolnough, a very experienced manager, with a strong track record in managing UK corporate bond funds. Richard has been responsible for the M&G Corporate Bond Fund since 2004 after joining from Old Mutual. Richard is supported by a large team of 34 analysts, each with an average 12 years’ experience, plus the benefit of working closely with the other fixed income fund managers at M&G.

      These investments can fall in value. You may get back less than you invested. These are our current opinions but the future, as ever, is uncertain and outcomes may differ. Past performance of the fund and its manager are not a reliable indicator of their future performance.

    M&G Global Floating Rate High Yield Fund

    • Floating rate high yield bonds is a relatively new concept to investors. Although these investments have been around for some time, this is the only UK fund that gives access to them. As the name suggests, the fund focusses on ‘floating rate’ bonds. Most corporate bonds pay a fixed rate of interest – known as the yield - but some have variable, ‘floating’ rates, typically linked to central banks’ base rates. This means that, as interest rates rise, the interest payable on the bond rises in tandem – an attractive concept, bearing in mind that bonds with fixed rates of interest tend to fall in value when base rates rise. The fund invests in the ‘high yield’ area of the market. This is the riskier end of the bond market, where companies are perceived to have a higher chance of not repaying their debt – hence they pay higher rates of interest to compensate for the additional risk.

    • The fund has an international focus and invests in a broad range of global markets, predominantly Europe, the US and UK – the ability to diversify across different markets helps reduce the overall risk of the fund. Also, the lead fund manager, James Tomlins, follows a strict and disciplined investment approach to control the level of risk. Although high yield bonds are riskier than the likes of investment grade bonds and gilts, the attraction is higher potential returns – the key is identifying good quality companies, rather than just chasing higher possible returns. This is where a good manager and strong team of analysts comes to the fore. We believe James’s experience as a high yield analyst and fund manager holds him in good stead for understanding the floating rate bond market.

    • M&G was founded under its original name of Municipal and General Securities in 1901, as the financial arm of a British engineering company. M&G launched the first fund for UK investors in 1931, and has since concentrated on the management of investment funds. M&G has shown a willingness to be innovative in developing new funds. The Global Floating Rate High Yield fund, for example, is the first and only strategy of its kind in the market today. James Tomlins has managed the fund since its launch in 2014, and has more than 10 years’ high yield bond experience.

      These investments can fall in value. You may get back less than you invested. These are our current opinions but the future, as ever, is uncertain and outcomes may differ. Past performance of the fund and its manager are not a reliable indicator of their future performance.

    M&G UK Inflation Linked Corporate Bond Fund

    • This fund invests mainly in inflation-linked bonds issued by the highest quality companies. And it aims to protect from the effects of infla­tion by generating a total return (the combination of income and growth of capital) consistent with or greater than the rate of UK infla­tion over any three to five-year period. This isn’t guaranteed but the fund is run by a very good and experienced team with a strong track record, albeit that this is not a reliable indicator of how it might perform in future.

    • This is a unique strategy and it is run by a very well-resourced investment team aiming to protect the value of capital and income from the effects of inflation. The fund is managed along what we would call a ‘high conviction’ approach. This means that the fund managers, Ben Lord and Jim Leaviss, are pretty much unconstrained in terms of where they can invest, ultimately giving them freedom to invest where they see the greatest and most compelling investment opportunities.

    • M&G was founded under its original name of Municipal and General Securities in 1901, as the financial arm of a British engineering company. Ben and James co-run the M&G UK Inflation Linked Corporate Bond fund and these two managers complement each other well. Jim has extensive macro-economic experience (i.e. views on global markets and economies) while Ben is very experienced in analysing the creditworthiness of individual companies. Jim is the head of the retail fixed income team and has been with M&G since 1997. They are supported by a large team of 34 credit analysts with over 12 years’ experience on average and also benefit from the close working relationship with the other fixed income fund managers.

      Investments can fall in value. You may get back less than you invested. These are our current opinions but the future, as ever, is uncertain and outcomes may differ. Past performance of the fund and its manager are not a reliable indicator of their future performance.

    Majedie UK Equity Fund

    • Of all the funds on the Barclays Fund List, the Majedie UK Equity Fund is unique in having a ‘multi manager’ approach to how it is managed. Three of Majedie’s senior fund managers – James de Uphaugh, Chris Field and Matthew Smith – each manage a portion of the fund’s assets. The managers are free to construct their portfolios as they wish, and are not forced to abide by a house view on a particular company or sector. The result is a fund that draws together the wider Majedie UK Equity Team’s best ideas, reflected in a fund that invests across the whole of the UK stock market, from smaller companies to the larger FTSE 100 names.

    • The Majedie UK Equity Fund is a well-managed and uses a flexible investment approach by a highly regarded team. We admire the contrarian approach to investing – by this we mean the managers look for companies that are out of favour with other investors, and/or their share prices are looking exceptionally cheap in relation to expectations as to how fast their earnings could grow. But such companies can remain out of favour for some time, which means the fund performance can seem poor in comparison to the market and other UK equity funds for extended periods. This is something to be mindful of when considering this fund, but we believe the team will deliver strong returns over the long term. The multi-manager structure they use is one that is not common within the industry today but we think Majedie makes it work well, because of the closeness and experience of the individual managers.

    • Majedie Asset Management was founded in 2002 and is headquartered in the UK. The firm has traditionally focused on the UK, but in recent years has also launched US and Global Equity funds. The three managers, James de Uphaugh, Chris Field and Matthew Smith each have more than 20 years’ experience of funds management.

      Investments can fall in value. You may get back less than you invested. These are our current opinions but the future, as ever, is uncertain and outcomes may differ. Past performance of the fund and its manager are not a reliable indicator of their future performance.

    Man GLG Japan Core Alpha Fund

    • The Man GLG Japan Core Alpha Fund invests in the larger companies on the Japanese stock market, but it has a very distinct style and process as to how it does that. It focusses on buying shares of companies that are completely unloved and out of favour (as they look cheap), and selling them when they become popular again – by which time the share prices might have risen. The team believes this ‘contrarian’ approach is suited to the Japanese market, because every industry and sector within it is very cyclical, which means there will always be parts of the market that are unpopular. Obviously, this doesn’t mean that every company will be a good investment, but once the management team has identified the ones it believes are, they are happy to remain patient, and even buy more if the share prices fall further. However, the result is it can be a rocky ride for investors of this fund as its performance can be more volatile that the stock market itself – it can underperform during strong market rallies and then suddenly outperform when these unloved businesses become popular again.

    • The fund benefits from a small, but experienced team. Stephen Harker, the head of Japanese Equities at Man GLG, has a long track record managing portfolios that follow this contrarian approach. This experienced team have been applying the same approach and process for more than 20 years, with a very clear and disciplined process focusing on valuations of companies and the quality of those businesses. By being disciplined on when to buy (and, potentially even more important, when to sell) shares in high quality stocks that are overlooked by the market, there is great potential to outperform.

    • Man GLG is owned by Man Group, and is in the FTSE 100, meaning it’s one of the 100 largest companies on the UK stock exchange. The Japanese Equity Team operates independently from the wider group. The investment team comprises four experienced portfolio managers – Stephen Harker, Neil Edwards, Jeff Atherton and Adrian Edwards – who together bring a wealth of experience.

      Investments can fall in value. You may get back less than you invested. These are our current opinions but the future, as ever, is uncertain and outcomes may differ. Past performance of the fund and its manager are not a reliable indicator of their future performance.

    Man GLG UK Income Fund

    • The UK Equity Income marketplace is a competitive space, and to be successful a fund needs to differentiate itself by employing a standout investment strategy with an experienced team at the helm. And this Fund ticks both those boxes.

      Equity Income funds, as the name suggests, aim to provide a higher than average income as well as increasing the underlying value of your investment, so they are a popular option with both income and growth investors. Henry Dixon, who manages this fund, tries to do this by looking for companies that are growing their earnings at a rate faster than the market is expecting, which means their shares currently look cheap in comparison to others. In addition, the companies must be paying a dividend as this is where the ‘income’ element of the fund comes from.

    • Like other funds that make it onto the Barclays Funds List, we like the fact that the team sticks to a rigorous and successful investment process, which leads them to finding interesting opportunities. We also like the fact that the fund can invest in companies from across the FTSE All Share Index – it is not limited to larger companies in the FTSE 100 or FTSE 250. This gives the management team a larger pond to fish in when trying to identify the best investment opportunities. However, the knock-on effect is the fund may be more volatile than some of its peers i.e. the value of shares in the fund may rise and fall more than the typical funds’, but as long term investors we feel we are able to look beyond these short term periods. While past performance is not necessarily an indicator of future performance, when we analyse the performance of this fund, we feel confident that it has been driven by successful stock selection decisions, rather than a simply being in the right style of companies at the right time (for example, being in mining companies or smaller companies at the time when they outperform the wider market).

    • Man GLG is owned by Man Group, a FTSE 100 listed company. Henry Dixon designed the investment approach and has managed it since inception. He remains the driving force and public face of the fund. We rate him highly. Jack Barrat is a highly regarded investment professional and able deputy. The team is completed by a number of analysts, though the disciplined nature of the team’s approach allows the fund to be run by a small team.

      Investments can fall in value. You may get back less than you invested. These are our current opinions but the future, as ever, is uncertain and outcomes may differ. Past performance of the fund and its manager are not a reliable indicator of their future performance.

    Merian UK Alpha Fund

    • This is a fund that invests in shares of UK companies, but its approach is far from ordinary or mainstream. The lead fund manager, Richard Buxton, typically invests in large companies, but he takes a ‘contrarian’ view to investing, which means he is not afraid to reject popular opinion or consensus thinking when looking for ideas so even if a sector or business isn’t performing as well as others in the market, he’s prepared to invest if he regards it as a good long term investment opportunity.

    • The Merian UK Alpha fund is managed by Richard Buxton, who joined Merian Global Investors in 2013 after a decade managing a fund using the exact same strategy at Schroders. Richard is well known for his high conviction, and inherently contrarian, approach to investing. He will typically back companies he favours by buying a large number of shares in them. Many funds invest in around 80 to 100 companies, but this is more concentrated and will typically have 35 to 40 holdings at any one time. The hope is that this can lead to stronger returns because the fund manager has fewer stocks to focus on.

      However, the flip side is potentially higher volatility i.e. the value of shares in the fund may rise and fall more than the typical funds’, because poor performance of an individual holding can have a bigger impact than in it would if the portfolio was more diverse. But Richard has a strong track record in delivering good returns to investors and we like the fact he invests with conviction, even if a company is currently out of favour with other investors. You need to be prepared to hold your nerve though, and invest in this fund for the long term as returns over the short term can be volatile.

    • Merian Global Investors is a privately owned asset management group, which was sold by Old Mutual Global Investors in December 2017. It’s owned by TA Associates – a private equity firm – and a number of its senior fund managers. The business was renamed ‘Merian Global Investors’ in October 2018. Richard Buxton manages the fund, and performs the role of Head of Equities at Merian.

      Investments can fall in value. You may get back less than you invested. These are our current opinions but the future, as ever, is uncertain and outcomes may differ. Past performance of the fund and its manager are not a reliable indicator of their future performance.

    Merian UK Mid Cap Fund

    • This fund can invest in the medium-sized companies that make up the FTSE 250. These mid-sized companies are often referred to as the ‘breeding ground’ for future successful large businesses, some of which will make it into the FTSE 100 – 100 largest companies in the UK. Many of them will have been classed as smaller companies, when they first floated on the stock market, but then moved into the mid-cap arena after growing in size by increasing their product or service offering, expanding into new markets and/or developing areas such as governance and reporting. As a result, the average FTSE 250 company grows its earnings at a faster rate than both the large cap and small cap average. This fund aims to take advantage of this opportunity, by investing in a range of medium sized UK companies.

    • The Merian UK Mid Cap Fund is one of the most successful among its peer group.  Manager, Richard Watts is part of a large and experienced team with a proven track record. The Merian team’s approach is based on the belief that this area of the market is less well researched than the large companies that make up the FTSE 100. As a result, there are some good investment opportunities in companies where the share price looks cheap given the future growth outlook. which results in share price inefficiencies. Within this area of overlooked and under researched companies, the team looks for companies that are growing their earnings strongly.

    • Merian Global Investors is a privately owned asset management group, which was sold by Old Mutual Global Investors in December 2017. The company is owned by TA Associates - a private equity firm – and a number of its senior fund managers, including Richard Watts. The business was renamed ‘Merian Global Investors’ in October 2018. Merian have one of the largest teams that research and cover small and medium sized UK companies. Richard Watts has been a highly successful manager of this fund for some time and it has become one of the most popular and best performing funds in the sector.

      Investments can fall in value. You may get back less than you invested. These are our current opinions but the future, as ever, is uncertain and outcomes may differ. Past performance of the fund and its manager are not a reliable indicator of their future performance.

    Merian UK Smaller Companies Fund

    • The shares of the smallest companies listed on the stock market are often seen as higher risk than their larger counterparts, but with potentially greater rewards for investors in pursuit of profit, as part of a diversified portfolio. It may be tempting to go hunting for smaller company shares yourself, but it is an incredibly difficult task to identify the best opportunities. This is because there are over 2,000 smaller companies listed on the London Stock Exchange and Alternative Investment Market, and the while some of these may one day make their way up to the FTSE 100 Index, the vast majority will remain small. In this environment, it makes sense to gain exposure through an actively managed fund, such as the Merian UK Smaller Companies Fund.

    • The Merian UK Smaller Companies Fund is one of the most highly regarded funds in its sector. And like all successful funds, it’s about balancing a successful investment process with a strong team. The Merian Team’s approach is based on the belief that smaller companies are less well researched than large companies – not least because there are so many of them. Therefore, within the smaller companies universe there will be some great investment opportunities which is what the team is trying to find. The fund is managed by Dan Nickols – he and his team meet with more than 400 companies a year looking for the ones that are growing their earnings strongly. Not only does this give them an unparalleled depth of knowledge, but the team culture is such that it encourages debate and collaboration and we really like this approach.

    • Merian Global Investors is a privately owned asset management group, which was sold by Old Mutual Global Investors in December 2017. The company is owned by TA Associates – a private equity firm – and a number of its senior fund managers, including Dan Nickols himself. The business was renamed ‘Merian Global Investors’ in October 2018. Merian have one of the largest teams that research and cover small and medium sized UK companies.

      Investments can fall in value. You may get back less than you invested. These are our current opinions but the future, as ever, is uncertain and outcomes may differ. Past performance of the fund and its manager are not a reliable indicator of their future performance.

  • R-Z

    Royal London Cash Plus Fund

    • Although this Fund has the word ‘cash’ in its name, it is not a cash substitute. The fund is riskier than cash savings accounts, but it aims to generate a higher return than you can with cash and be less risky than most bond funds. It invests in a combination of traditional cash accounts and other instruments – these include short-term unsecured lending to companies (also known as ‘commercial paper’), covered bonds (bonds that are issued by companies, but which are secured on assets in the event that the company goes bust), and short-dated government bonds. The fund is managed, and the risks controlled, by a stringent set of investment limits and guidelines. It is positioned as being suitable for people who can put their money away for at least three months and are looking to boost the return they can get with cash savings without significantly increasing their risk profile.

    • This fund plays a useful part in an investor’s portfolio, by offering a higher return than cash, but without exposing the investor to the same market volatility and risks that a bond fund would typically deliver though it’s important to bear in mind that it is more risky than holding money in cash savings accounts. The value of investment in the fund can fall and you may get back less than you invested. The main factor that differentiates this fund from its competitors is a combination of the experienced team of investment professionals at Royal London, combined with controlled portfolio construction and management.

    • Royal London Asset Management was founded in 1988 as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Royal London Group, which itself is the UK’s largest mutual life insurer. Craig Inches and Tony Cole jointly manage the Cash Plus Fund and they are supported by an extensive and experienced team which we see as a strength when compared with similar funds that are available.

      These investments can fall in value. You may get back less than you invested. These are our current opinions but the future, as ever, is uncertain and outcomes may differ. Past performance of the fund and its manager are not a reliable indicator of their future performance.

    Schroder Strategic Credit Fund

    • Bonds are issued by companies and governments when they want to raise money. When you invest in a bond, you’re effectively lending the company money which it pledges to pay back, plus interest (known as the yield) within a certain period of time. They generally have a market value during their life which will vary depending on several factors, not least of which is prevailing levels of interest and there is the risk that the issuer of a bond may not repay the original capital or interest when it is due, perhaps because they are unable to or because they go into liquidation with insufficient assets to meet these liabilities. Bond funds’ unit prices are typically less volatile than those of funds that invest in shares, they provide an effective way to diversify within an investment portfolio, whilst at the same time delivering an attractive yield.

      However, bonds are more complex, so it makes sense to diversify further, by investing across the many different parts of the market. For example, at the lower-risk end of risk you have government bonds (gilts) and investment grade corporate bonds which are issued by the large, high quality companies. However, because they’re generally seen as a safer investment, the interest they pay tends to be lower than on high yield bonds. These high yield bonds are issued by companies that are less financially secure so the chance of them not being able to repay the debt is greater. This fund can invest globally and in all types of bonds.

    • This fund has what we would describe as an ‘unconstrained’ approach because fund manager, Peter Harvey, can invest across the entire bond market. In terms of geographical allocation, the fund invests at least 80% of its assets in bonds denominated in sterling (or in other currencies and hedged back into sterling) issued by companies in the UK and Europe. The remainder can be invested in bonds issued by companies and governments worldwide. What we really like about this fund is the manager – Peter is very experienced and has been applying the same investment approach and process, successfully, for many years. In addition, he is able to draw on the wider team at Schroders, to help him find compelling investment opportunities.

    • Schroders Asset Management was established over 200 years ago and is one of the largest asset managers listed on the London Stock Exchange. Peter Harvey, worked for Cazenove Capital Holdings, which was bought by Schroders in 2013. However, he has over 20 years’ experience in the bond market having managed funds with emerging market corporate bonds, high yield and distressed debt. He is supported by seven fund managers and 13 analysts.

      These investments can fall in value. You may get back less than you invested. These are our current opinions but the future, as ever, is uncertain and outcomes may differ. Past performance of the fund and its manager are not a reliable indicator of their future performance.

    Stewart Investors Asia Pacific Leaders Fund

    • This fund invests in shares of companies based in, or which have significant operations in, the Asia Pacific region - including Australia and New Zealand, but excluding Japan. It can invest in the very largest companies in the region, as well as looking for opportunities within the often under-researched area of mid-sized companies. The management team seeks to identify high quality companies that can deliver sustainable and predictable growth over the long term. They do this by not only focusing on the upside potential of the shares they buy, but also the possible downside - how much they could possibly lose -  in order to mitigate losses when markets are falling. In-house research is key for this, and their research process included over 1,000 meetings with companies every year.

    • The team is well resourced and experienced which is really important when managing a fund that invests across such a diverse universe as Asia. The vast number of meetings the team hold with company management is testament to the effort and due diligence that goes into running this fund. The fact they also focus on the downside has helped the fund in the past, by providing protection in difficult markets as it helps minimise falls.

    • Stewart Investors is recognised as a proven and highly successful specialist manager in Emerging Markets and Asian Equities, with teams predominantly in London and Edinburgh. The group is part of First State Investments, which itself is part of Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation (MUTB). MUTB is one of Japan's leading asset managers, and acquired First State in 2018 as part of its wider ambition to grow globally by acquiring minority stakes in overseas asset managers.

      The fund is managed by David Gait, who is very experienced with a long track record in managing Asian equities, having joined First State Investments back in 1997.

      Investments can fall in value. You may get back less than you invested. These are our current opinions but the future, as ever, is uncertain and outcomes may differ. Past performance of the fund and its manager are not a reliable indicator of their future performance.

    Stewart Investors Global Emerging Markets Leaders Fund

    • Emerging markets have delivered strong returns for investors, but if you invest in an Emerging Market fund, you need to be prepared for a rocky ride as returns can fluctuate significantly. The Stewart Investors Global Emerging Markets Leaders Fund looks for high quality companies within the Emerging Markets space, that can deliver sustainable and predictable growth over the long term. As well as looking at the potential upside in a share price, the team also considers how much they could lose when markets fall in order to try and minimise losses. In-house research is key for this and the team has over 1,000 meetings every year with companies they invest in or are looking into.

    • Emerging Markets are such a diverse investment universe that it’s really important to be in a fund being run by a well-resourced and experience team and the team managing the Stewart Investors Global Emerging Markets Leaders fund is just that. The vast number of meetings the team holds with company management is testament to the effort and due diligence that goes into running this Fund. Their focus on the downside, as well as the upside, has helped the fund in the past, by providing protection in difficult markets. Even when Emerging Markets have fallen, this fund has demonstrated the ability to outperform – past performance isn’t necessarily a guide to future performance but we are confident in the ability of the management team and that this fund offers good long term growth prospects.

    • Stewart Investors is recognised as a highly successful specialist manager in Emerging Markets and Asian Equities, with teams predominantly in London and Edinburgh. The group is part of First State Investments, which itself is part of Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation (MUTB). MUTB is one of Japan's leading asset managers, and acquired First State in 2018 as part of its wider ambition to grow globally by acquiring minority stakes in overseas asset managers. The fund is managed by Ashish Swarup and Tom Prew, who bring with them a wealth of experience.

      Investments can fall in value. You may get back less than you invested. These are our current opinions but the future, as ever, is uncertain and outcomes may differ. Past performance of the fund and its manager are not a reliable indicator of their future performance.

    Threadneedle UK Social Bond Fund

    • The aim of the fund is to offer investors the opportunity to invest in companies and organisations that are supporting socially beneficial activities in the UK, such as affordable housing, education and the environment. The team at Threadneedle isn’t limited to investing just with companies that are listed on the stock market, because the social bond market also offers opportunities to work with and invest with organisations such as charities, housing associations and government associations.

    • This is what we call a ‘positive inclusion’ approach to ethical investing. Rather than steering clear of companies that conduct business in ‘non-ethical’ sectors, such as tobacco companies or weapons manufacturers, the team at Threadneedle search for opportunities to invest in organisations that are aiming to deliver a ‘positive impact’ to the UK society. The fund managed by a very experienced fund manager, who is extremely passionate about social investing. It was launched in 2014 as the first mainstream bond fund in this market. It was developed in partnership with Big Issue Invest, a social investment arm of The Big Issue, which aims to finance the growth of sustainable social enterprises.

    • Columbia Threadneedle Investments is a global asset management group formed in 2015 as a result of the merger of two companies. The firm takes responsible investing seriously and has been engaged in the space since 1998. The partnership with Big Issue Investing endorses the company’s commitment to this market. Simon Bond is the lead portfolio manager on the fund, supported by a large and experienced research team. Simon has extensive experience investing in bonds, but has become more focused on social impact investing over the last few years. He is very passionate about this area of the market and often highlights that the first sector that he covered as an analyst was housing associations, which are particularly relevant to this strategy.

      Investments can fall in value. You may get back less than you invested. These are our current opinions but the future, as ever, is uncertain and outcomes may differ. Past performance of the fund and its manager are not a reliable indicator of their future performance. The Fund aims to invest in assets that are deemed to be supporting and funding socially beneficial activities and development and utilises a Social Assessment Methodology. This will affect the Fund’s exposure to certain issuers, industries, sectors, and regions, and may impact the relative performance of the Fund positively or negatively, depending on whether such investments are in or out of favour.

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