Morningstar Fund Ratings: Weekly Round-up

In this week's ratings round-up, we unveil the latest upgrades and downgrades from Morningstar's analysts

Mathieu Caquineau, CFA 8 March, 2022 | 9:02AM
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New Ratings

abdrn North American Smaller Companies X – Bronze

Jack Fletcher-Price

Ralph Bassett, manager of abrdn North American Smaller Companies, uses a prudent approach designed to minimize risks, and the focus on strong businesses comes through in the portfolio, including on quality metrics such as return on equity and return on assets. There has been significant turnover on the analyst team supporting Bassett in recent years, although this seems to be stabilising more recently. Overall, though, Bassett’s strong and consistent approach earns the cheapest share classes a Morningstar Analyst Rating of Bronze, in line with the existing ratings on the US-domiciled version of the strategy.

Downgrades

Uni-Global Equities Emerging Markets RA – Bronze from Silver

Mathieu Caquineau, CFA

The fund’s RA share class earns a Morningstar Analyst Rating of Bronze, downgraded from Silver. This downgrade reflects changes in the competitive landscape in the global emerging markets equity Morningstar Category and not a change of opinion on the strategy’s People or Process Pillar ratings, both maintained at Above Average. Uni-Global Equities Emerging Markets continues to benefit from a solid team with strong credentials in active, low-risk investing. The process is disciplined, replicable, and based on sound principles, though process evolution means it looks quite different from when it was launched and its complexity has increased.

Uni-Global Equities Europe RA – Silver from Gold

Uni-Global Equities Eurozone RA – Bronze from Silver

Mathieu Caquineau, CFA

Uni-Global Equities Europe and Uni-Global Equities Eurozone remain solid options supported by a team with strong credentials in low-risk quantitative investing and a disciplined process based on sound principles. That said, significant turnover in the investment team in 2021, including the departures of two key team members, and process changes implemented in 2020 have gradually reduced our conviction. The strategy’s Process Pillar score was reduced to Above Average from High in 2021, and its People Pillar score is now downgraded to Above Average from High. All the fund’s share classes see a one-notch downgrade. The clean class RA moves to a Morningstar Analyst Rating of Silver from Gold for Uni-Global Equities Europe and Bronze from Silver for Uni-Global Equities Eurozone. The more-expensive Uni-Global Equities Europe share classes land at Bronze compared with Silver previously. The more[1]expensive Uni-Global Equities Eurozone share classes land at Neutral compared with Bronze previously.

Uni-Global Equities World RA – Bronze from Silver

Natalia Wolfstetter

The fund’s RA share class earns a Morningstar Analyst Rating of Bronze, downgraded from Silver. This downgrade reflects changes in the competitive landscape in the global large-cap blend equity Morningstar Category and not a change of opinion on the strategy’s People or Process Pillar ratings, both maintained at Above Average. Uni-Global Equities Emerging Markets continues to benefit from a solid team with strong credentials in active, low-risk investing. The process is disciplined, replicable, and based on sound principles, though process evolution means it looks quite different from when it was launched and its complexity has increased

As part of Morningstar's enhanced methodology for Analyst Ratings, different share classes have different Ratings

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.

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About Author

Mathieu Caquineau, CFA

Mathieu Caquineau, CFA  Senior Fund Analyst, Morningstar France