Standard Life's Karen Robertson and M&G's Aled Smith have both entered Chelsea Financial Services' infamous 'Relegation Zone'.
Robertson, running the £756m Standard Life UK Equity High Income fund for the past 15 years, has seen performance dive in the last year, with the fund suffering heavily in turbulent markets.
The experienced manager’s fund shed 2.3% in the past year, compared to the IMA Equity Income sector average gain of 1%, according to Morningstar.
Short-term losses are now weighing on longer term numbers, and over three years her fund is now ranked 73rd in the sector, having returned 6.1%, against an average return of 16.7%.
Darius McDermott, managing director of Chelsea Financial Services, said Robertson’s ten-year numbers remain strong but her recent performance has raised concerns.
“Karen has been in the first and second quartile for the majority of the past ten years, but she has had three difficult years,” he said.
Other big names falling into Chelsea’s list include Aled Smith, manager of the £878m M&G Global Leaders fund, as well as Mark Lyttleton, manager of the £1bn BlackRock UK Dynamic fund.
Over one year Smith’s fund – which invests around the world in leaders in their respective fields – is down 3%, against an average gain of 0.7%. Over three years it has returned 3.8%, versus an average return of 15.8%.
McDermott said: “Aled is a manager with a great long-term track record, but he has been through a bad period.”
Lyttleton’s UK Dynamic fund has lost 3.3% in the past year versus a flat return of 0% from the IMA UK All Companies sector.
The move to put Lyttleton in the relegation zone follows similar downgrades from advisers including BestInvest who put Lyttleton’s UK and UK Dynamic funds in its so-called Dog list of funds recently.
“Lyttleton went through a difficult period in April and we have since had him on watch,” said McDermott.
“Although his long-term numbers are still good, he has had a poor three years and a particularly bad spell over the last six to 12 months.”
Chris McLoud, equity product specialist at Standard Life Investments, said Robertson’s low three-year returns were due to the fund’s high weighting in cyclicals, heavy large-cap exposure and inability to take high conviction bets.
“We are bottom-up stock selectors, while investors have been focussed on the macro recently and have flocked to more defensive companies.
BlackRock’s Mark Elliott, head of UK retail sales, said Lyttleton had delivered excellent performance over the long term.
An M&G spokesperson said in times of market stress the fund’s strategy can be out of favour, adding the fund has always recovered from challenging periods.
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