Schroders tops list of worst performing equity funds

UK asset manager Schroders has topped a controversial list pinpointing the 42 worst-performing equity funds on the planet.

The firm has been named and shamed for its £1.2 billion UK Mid Cap 250, deemed the largest fund to have underperformed by more than 5% over the past three years.

The list has been produced by Bestinvest, part of the Tilney Group, and is designed to expose the so-called "dog funds" of the market place.

It found that Aberbeen Asset Management - one of the UK's biggest investment houses - had four "seriously-underachieving" funds. 

However, this was markedly down from last year when the fund giant was judged to have 11 "dog funds" on its books. 

"There is no single fund group that dominates the hall of shame," Bestinvest said. 

"However when ranked by number of funds in the report, the unwanted trophy of 'Top Dog' remains with listed fund giant Aberdeen Asset Management - yet it only has four funds included in the table, a far cry from a year ago where it had 11 funds included on the list.

"The fund house with the largest assets under management within 'dog funds' sits with Schroder. UK mid-caps have been a fertile area of the market in recent years, but despite this, the fund has had a 'ruff' ride.

"Given the size and breadth of Schroders' range, having just one dog could be regarded as an achievement, as in the main, most Schroders funds are superior breeds."

The level of assets in underperforming funds has fallen to £8.6 billion, less than half the number of assets in "dog funds" compared to six months ago.

Prudential-owned M&G was pinpointed for having a strong recovery since last year's report, with no presence on the list despite holding £11.9 billion in "dog funds" in June 2016. 

On the UK Mid Cap 250, a spokesperson for Schroders said the fund's under performance came from a large exposure to domestic stocks, which suffered in the wake of the Brexit vote. 

"Our funds are managed for long term performance to assist our clients in meeting their future financial goals.

"During this time, we recognise that there will be periods of short-term underperformance.

"It is important to note that over a five-year period, the Schroder UK Mid Cap 250 fund is up 110.4% and ahead of its benchmark and the sector average which returned 70.1%."

Despite holding four "dog funds", Aberdeen Asset Management said its fund performance had improved across the board, with many outperforming last year. 

"2013-2015 was tough period for value-oriented managers, like Aberdeen, QE drove most asset prices indiscriminately higher," a spokesperson said. 

"Last year the environment started to change, Brexit and Trump among other factors, led to increased market volatility which was beneficial to our fundamental approach to investing - focusing on companies balance sheet strength, quality management and durability of the business model."

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