Service Awards 16 Investment category introduction
At first glance, it would appear that little changed in the five-star category.
No fewer than 14 entrants made it into the top category – the same as last year – and 11 providers remarkably retained their five-star rating from last year.
However, readers will notice the presence of Scottish Widows, which recovered from a dreary one-star rating to occupy a spot in the top ranking band for the first time since 2011.
There is also a noticeable absence of Axa Wealth and Axa Wealth International – both of which tumbled down the table to the three-star and two star categories, respectively.
Meanwhile, Nucleus and Old Mutual Wealth – both four-star winners last year – rose to five-star status.
Rathbone sits at the helm of the bumper four-star category, which swelled by three from 13 last year.
Rising from the three-star category are Premier Asset Management, Sterling Zurich and Vanguard.
More impressively, Legal & General IM gained two stars in the past 12 months to rank in the category.
On the other hand, Close Brothers dropped to the three-star ranking from five stars last year.
Remaining in the four-star service category are Rathbone, Virgin Money, Architas, Standard Life Investments, Aviva Investors, Novis, Smith & Williamson, 7IM, FundsNetwork and Investec – now split into its respective structured products and asset management divisions.
Seventeen companies received a three-star rating for service by our readers, with Fidelity moving to the top slot.
The category, which grew from 12 last year, now occupies Axa Wealth, who secured a five-star rating in all three of its previous appearances in the annual survey.
Another of Axa Group’s subsidiaries, Axa IM, regressed from a four-star ranking last year.
Columbia Threadneedle, Invesco Perpetual, JP Morgan Asset Management and M&G all progressed from two stars.
Jupiter and Cofunds gained two stars in the past year, while Legg Mason, which did not qualify in the previous instalment, parachutes into the category.
Axa Wealth International’s five-star ranking in the previous three instalments of the service awards seems a distant memory.
The two-star poor service category grew from nine last year to 12. Half of that total is comprised of companies that were promoted from the one-star category, such as Baillie Gifford, BlackRock, HSBC AM, First State, Artemis and Aberdeen. Franklin Templeton, which failed to qualify last year, built on its 2014 rating by one star.
Only six providers ranked in the lowest service category, down from 11 last year.
Eden Tree, formerly Ecclesiastical, along with NS&I, remains rooted in the bottom category for the second consecutive year.
Witan, iShares, J O Hambro and Lazard make a first appearance in the survey, but certainly not for good service.