Morningstar's Manager Check Up

REAFFIRMED RATINGS: Morningstar's Jonathan Miller explains why analysts positively rate Schroder Asian Alpha Plus, Aberforth UK Small Companies and Templeton Global Bond

Jonathan Miller 9 November, 2017 | 10:02AM



Jonathan Miller: Welcome to the Morningstar manager check-up, where we share fund updates from our research team.

Schroder Asian Alpha Plus is led by the skilled and experienced Matthew Dobbs, who’s been managing money for over 30 years. He benefits from the support of 40 analysts in the region who carry out bottom-up analysis. There’s a focus on valuation, assessing a company’s competitive position and visible earnings growth.

Dobbs also employs a top-down view and a country allocation model when determining asset allocation. The index is used as a reference rather than a focal point in portfolio construction, and overall we believe there’s a lot to like. We have a high regard for the manager and his sound process that he’s diligently followed for years, and the fund has a Morningstar Analyst Rating of Silver.

On the Aberforth UK Small Companies fund, decisions are made in a collegial manner. It’s a very well-resourced team and one of the largest purely focused on UK smaller companies. So there’s strength in depth when it comes to small-cap expertise. We find a somewhat differentiated approach at play here, in that the process favours undervalued companies. Whereas most funds in the category tend to have a bias towards higher-priced growth stocks.

The fund's value tilt means it’s susceptible to prolonged periods of underperformance when growth is driving the market forward. This has been the case in recent years, but the managers have rigidly stuck to the process. We believe this will reward patient investors over the long term, and the fund has a Morningstar Analyst Rating of Silver.

The Templeton Global Bond fund is led by the renowned Michael Hasenstab, with Sonal Desai alongside him as co-manager.  They seek to identify value among sovereign bonds, currencies and interest rates, looking to countries they see as having healthy or improving fundamentals. This has meant avoiding the US, eurozone, and Japan, which dominate most peer funds’ portfolios.

Given that their overall view leads to an emerging-markets heavy profile, there’s ample credit and currency risk at play. The team has a contrarian mindset and consistently applied its approach. We believe patient investors remain in good hands given the managers’ knack for finding long-term winners and the fund carries a Morningstar Analyst Rating of Silver.

The information contained within is for educational and informational purposes ONLY. It is not intended nor should it be considered an invitation or inducement to buy or sell a security or securities noted within nor should it be viewed as a communication intended to persuade or incite you to buy or sell security or securities noted within. Any commentary provided is the opinion of the author and should not be considered a personalised recommendation. The information contained within should not be a person's sole basis for making an investment decision. Please contact your financial professional before making an investment decision.

Securities Mentioned in Article
Security NamePriceChange (%)Morningstar
Aberforth UK Small Companies Acc25,081.38 GBP0.98
Schroder Asian Alpha Plus Z Acc94.67 GBP1.58
Templeton Global Bond Z(acc)USD13.56 USD1.34
About Author

Jonathan Miller  is Director of Manager Research, Morningstar UK