S&P suspends Newton fund rating

Standard & Poor’s (S&P) has suspended the AAA rating on Newton’s Balanced Bridge fund until it interviews new manager Julie Ann Ashcroft this month.

Caroline Tye (nee Lindsay) remains the final decision maker on the vehicle, although day-to-day management has now passed to Ashcroft.

According to S&P, Lindsay sits within the private client unit at Newton and draws on the resources of that team as well as the wider group.

“Performance from this portfolio has been slightly below median over the past two years but the longer-term track record remains solid,” adds the analyst.

Meanwhile, S&P has also awarded an A rating to BlackRock’s on and offshore Emerging Markets funds following a review after several departures from the team last year. (article continues below)

S&P says these funds are now managed in a collegial manner by Daniel Tubbs, Sam Vecht and Dhiren Shah, who have incorporated enhancements to the investment process.

“Greater focus is now placed on relative positioning, as opposed to absolute, which has led the trio to add conviction to their stock picks,” adds the group.

“The result is a lowering of the number of holdings to 60-80 stocks, representing a reduction of around 20 names.”