Morningstar concerned over staff loss

MORNINGSTAR has expressed concern about two funds that are losing key personal, but have stopped short of downgrading the manager’s overall portfolio.

AMP and Colonial First State Investment Managers (Australia) Ltd are both losing senior analysts, which could put a cloud over the future performance of the funds.

Colonial First State, a division of the Commonwealth Banks, has announced that its long-standing head of Australian Equities, Greg Perry, is resigning in June, leaving a hole that Morningstar is concerned will be hard to fill by his replacement – current senior portfolio manager Ian Harding.

As a result, Morningstar has downgraded Colonial First State’s Australian Equities Trend Rating, which assesses the outlook for Colonial First State’s Australian equities management from “very positive” to “positive”, although the research house stopped short of downgrading the fund manager’s overall five-star rating.

AMP has also maintained its “very good” quality fund manager rating, despite a listed property downgrade of AMP’s listed property capabilities, after the departure of portfolio analyst Robert Pepicelli.

The loss of Mr Pepicelli this month leaves the two remaining AMP Listed Property Teams stretched, as Mr Pepicelli was covering

one-third of the stocks in the listed property sector.

The reconfirmation of the four-star rating applies to AMP Henderson Global Investors, AMP Life and AMP Superannuation.

However, second rate manager Invesco Australia Limited, has still not gained the confidence of Morningstar.

The single responsible entity for the former Invesco Asset Management Australia Limited and County Investment Management Limited products has managed to retain its two-star Morningstar Rating, indicating it is a relatively “poor-quality” fund manager in Morningstar’s opinion.

Other Australian companies sharing two star status are Advance, BT Funds Management and National Australia.

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