Chelsea Financial Services has moved the Liontrust first income fund back to buy rating for the first time in five years.
Having being taken off the buy list in 2005 after a “continual level of underperformance”, then under the stewardship of Jeremy Lang, the fund made Chelsea’s relegation zone in March 2007. To make this a fund needs to have shown three years of consecutive third or fourth quartile performance.
Chelsea Financial Services managing director Darius McDermott says: “We upgraded the fund to a hold when Gary West and James Inglis-Jones took over its management 18 months ago, after Lang left the group.”
McDermott notes the £304m fund has been first quartile since the duo took it over. The continental Europe fund they have run since joining the group in November 2006 from Polar Capital is also ranked first quartile over one year and second quartile over three.
“There was a slight amendment made to the fund’s mandate which took away the clause that it had to raise income every year,” says McDermott. “This seemed to constrain the way the fund was managed and I have been impressed with the way Gary and James have done since they took it over.”