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FE says 43 new managers awarded Alpha Manager status – but 26 lose ranking

18 February 2018

Ratings firm FE has announced that a total of 26 fund managers have lost their FE Alpha Manager status in this year’s rebalance, while 43 new names have been added to the list.

Each year, FE recognises the top 10% of UK retail-facing managers based on their performance throughout their entire careers.

Those who have lost their FE Alpha Manager status include Ben Leyland of JOHCM, GAM’s Paul McNamara, Kevin Murphy and Nick Kirrage of Schroders and Stephen Bailey of Liontrust.

Of the 43 new entrants, 32 have never previously been awarded an FE Alpha Manager rating, the firm said. The list includes Craig Bonthron of Kames, Shawn Driscoll of T.Rowe Price, Ben Fitchew of Ardevora, Paul Flood of Newton and BNY Mellon and James Govan of Barings Asset Management.

Rob Gleeson, head of FE research (pictured), said: “The purpose of the FE Alpha Manager rating is to take a step back and remove short-term market movements or cyclical factors from the analysis. It allows us to identify those managers who can add value over the very long term – which is fundamental considering the market conditions we have been facing over the past few years.”

For the second year in a row, the IA Smaller Companies sector has fared particularly well, with a third of managers achieving the title (33%), closely followed by Asia Pacific inc Japan (29%) and European Smaller Companies (28%).  In contrast, only 4% of Global Equity Income Managers achieved FE Alpha Manager status and no UK Gilts or Index Lined Gilts Managers made the grade.

Gleeson added: “Smaller companies, emerging markets and Europe have been a more reliable hunting ground for alpha managers. These markets have been suffering from either structural inefficiencies or uncertain political situations, which adds a lot of noise. This provides opportunity for careful analysis to add value. Bond markets have not offered much in the way of opportunity to outperform for a while as yields and spreads have remained tight, this is reflected with few bond managers making the grade for Alpha Manager status.”

Fidelity has topped the group leader board with 10 FE Alpha managers, followed by Schroders, BlackRock, GAM, Jupiter Asset Management and Polar Capital with six FE Alpha managers each.

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