Fixed IncomeDec 24 2015

Morningstar hands neutral ratings to two OMGI bond funds

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Morningstar hands neutral ratings to two OMGI bond funds

Morningstar has given the Old Mutual Corporate Bond fund an analyst rating of neutral and reinstated the Old Mutual Global Strategic Bond fund to a neutral rating, after previously placing both funds under review.

The Corporate Bond fund had previously been rated Bronze and the Global Strategic Bond was rated neutral. But Morningstar had been reviewing the ratings of the funds after the departure of Stewart Cowley and subsequent changes to the team, including the decision last month for Christine Johnson to step aside as lead manager on the Corporate Bond fund.

Mara Dobrescu, manager research analyst at Morningstar, explained: “The [Old Mutual Global Strategic Bond] fund was previously under review following the departure of lead manager Stewart Cowley in April 2015. [Mr] Cowley was replaced by Christine Johnson, who now heads Old Mutual’s fixed income team, and new recruit John Peta. Given the recent manager changes, it is still too early to have sufficient conviction to award a positive rating here. We will continue to monitor how the managers settle in their new roles and make their mark on the portfolio.”

On the change of rating to the Old Mutual Corporate Bond fund, she added: “Lloyd Harris was initially named co-manager of the fund alongside Christine Johnson. In November 2015, he was subsequently promoted to the role of lead manager. [Mr] Harris had contributed to the security selection process since 2012 through his work as a credit analyst, but he has no prior track-record on a similar strategy. We will thus need more time to assess his execution of the investment process, and the Neutral rating best reflects our absence of conviction at this stage.”