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Numis apologises for Schroders criticism

Numis apologises for Schroders criticism

Broker firm Numis has retracted and apologised for criticism it made about performance figures issued by Schroders.

Last week, Numis said the fund group had used “disingenuous” figures to report on its investment performance, which triggered an unusual public spat between the two companies.

The criticism relates to an update from Schroders which said 74 per cent of its assets had outperformed their benchmark over three years, and 85 per cent over five years.

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Numis Securities analyst David McCann had said the figures were misleading because they did not represent the group’s entire assets.

According to a footnote on Schroders’ update, the three-year figure represents 74 per cent of the group’s total assets, while the five-year figure represents just 63 per cent.

In its criticism, Numis stated: “We critique what we felt was a disingenuous reporting of alpha.”

But the brokerage has issued a new note this week which retracts its earlier criticism of the FTSE 100 fund group, stating: “We regret the use of that word, there was no justification for its use and we fully retract it.

“Contrary to the impression given in the note we agree that the company’s presentation of five-year performance data was appropriate.” 

Numis also said it was its intention to highlight the difficulties in interpreting performance figures presented across the industry, reflecting different methodologies in measuring performance.

“We apologise for the personalised aspect of our report, which was not intended or justified.”

A spokeswoman for Schroders said: “Schroders is transparent and open about how it calculates investment performance for the purposes of financial reporting year-on-year.

"Furthermore, our performance track records are externally verified annually, and the basis on which we present the data is reviewed periodically. This is all in line with general industry practice.”

She also said that when investment performance is discussed or shared with a client or potential client, it is specific to the product.

katherine.denham@ft.com