Adviser firms have welcomed Scottish Widows Investment Partnership’s move away from equity active management after underperformance across many of its equity funds.
Of Swip’s 16 pure equity funds, seven are third quartile, three are fourth quartile and three are second quartile over three years to the end of March, according to data from Morningstar.
The £1.8bn multi-manager international equity fund is first quartile. Two of the funds, the £1bn enhanced equity and £557m foundation growth, have a one-year track record. They are second and third quartile respectively for the year to April 13.
Four of the 16 funds have less than £50m of assets, including the £49m UK smaller companies, £20m global, £23m North America and £5m Japan funds.
Chelsea Financial Services head of research Juliet Schooling Latter says: “The changes are a welcome move because of the underperformance in some of the funds. It is a good idea for Swip to concentrate on its core competencies, like absolute return, real estate and fixed income.”
Hargreaves Lansdown senior analyst Meera Patel (pictured) says: “There are not many life companies that are good at running active retail funds. Swip should be focusing on what it is good at which may be more institutional-type or benchmark-oriented products.”
A number of life companies have reduced their presence in the active fund management sector over the past year, including LV=, Prudential and Aviva.