Analyst withdraws criticism of Schroders’ performance figures

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Brokerage firm Numis has issued a public apology to Schroders after calling some of its investment performance figures “disingenuous”.

Last week Numis criticised the asset manager for a press release stating 74 per cent of the company’s assets had outperformed their benchmark over three years, rising to 85 per cent over five years.

The reported performance only referred to a subset of its funds as the company could not measure performance across all of its assets. Additionally, Schroders did not clarify that performance was measured before fees were deducted.

Numis said it regretted using the word “disingenuous” when looking at the firm’s performance reporting, the Financial Times reports.

The brokerage says: “There was no justification for its use and we fully retract it. We fully accept the integrity of Schroders’ management in reporting the company’s performance record and contrary to the impression given in the note we agree that the company’s presentation of five-year performance data was appropriate.

“Our intention was to highlight the difficulties in interpreting performance figures presented across the industry, reflecting different methodologies in measuring performance. We apologise for the personalised aspect of our report, which was not intended or justified.”

In its interim report on the competition in the asset management industry, the FCA has highlighted the lack of transparency in the way fund groups report their performance figures to clients and advisers.

Transparency Task Force founding chairman Andy Agathangelou told the FT: “If Schroders are right in stating that their approach to reporting is ‘in line with standard industry practice’, then this is clearly a huge problem that the FCA must investigate straightaway.

“Investors deserve clear, complete and credible information on performance; just like they need clear, complete and credible information on costs. Hopefully the FCA will deal with [this issue] in a suitably rapid, robust and ruthless manner.”