Ahead of the launch of two new fund rating services, Rebecca Jones takes a look at the existing services out there and asks if advisers are getting all they need.
As Rayner Spencer Mills Research (RSMR) launches three new additions to its fund rating service, Morningstar OBSR piles more analysts into its now 30-strong UK team and new challengers FundCalibre and Square Mile Investment Research announce their intention to launch next year, it would seem fund rating services are upping their game somewhat.
What advisers get
According to RSMR co-founder Geoff Mills, the firm’s recent innovations - which include research for funds less than 12 months old, as well as multi-asset suites - were a response to adviser demand.
“Since the Retail Distribution Review (RDR), we have seen more interest from advisers who are looking for more detailed, in-depth fund research for their centralised investment propositions,” he says.
Are you getting what you need from fund ratings services?
Rab Shields, IFA at Simple Solutions Financial Management, echoes this point, claiming that one of the reasons he uses a fund rating service is his clients’ desire for more information about their investments post-RDR.
“Clients expect expertise now they have to pay explicitly for our services and I think they are more reassured if we talk about using fund experts rather than doing it all ourselves,” he says.
For Mike Horseman, managing director of Cockburn Lucas, using a rating service also helps him to screen funds quickly.
“Our point of entry is ‘are they rated?’ If not, we would not normally look to meet the management team,” he says.
Using a single rating service ensures uniformity and consistency when it comes to assessing and recommending funds, which both Horseman and Shields say is important, as is quality of research and regularly updated information.
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