In October Morningstar downgraded Mr Barnett’s £6bn High Income and £2.8bn Income funds when its analysts cited concerns of style drift, increased exposure to mid- and small-cap companies, and “less attractive” liquidity.
But Mr Barnett hit back at the critics, claiming the liquidity in the portfolios remained strong and “very manageable”.
He noted the funds’ exposure to unquoted companies understandably drew attention after what happened with Woodford but stressed he had changed the way the funds invested in such stocks, reducing the total exposure to unquoted investments by half (around £1bn to £500m) in the five years since he took over the management role.
Last week FTAdviserreported Mr Barnett was the fund manager most hurt by the demise of WIM as investors pulled £648 from his two UK equity funds in Q3 of this year.
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