Standard Life European Equity Income wins four-star rating

Will James’ £634.5m Standard Life European Equity Income fund has been awarded four stars by investment adviser Bestinvest.

The firm says James’ investment style has allow him to avoid the difficulties seen by many European equity income investors in the past few years.

The manager’s avoidance of financials and, more recently, telecommunications stocks were cited as examples of where his style has been beneficial.

Mark Lane, research analyst at Bestinvest, says: “James’ focus on quality companies paying sustainable and growing dividends has served him well throughout the volatility in equity markets in recent years. (article continues below)

“We believe that market conditions are likely to continue to be suitable for stock pickers.”

The fund outperformed its IMA Europe excluding UK peer group both last year and the year before. It lost 10.7 in 2011 against the sector’s average loss of 15.4% and returned 11.5% in 2010 against the peer group’s 8.8% average gain.