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Dresdner aiming to add clarity with risk ratings

Dresdner RCM Global Investors has commissioned HSBC to provide risk

ratings on its 12 investment trusts.

The ratings have been compiled using qualitative and quantitative factors.

They will be sent to investors and IFAs with all Dresdner literature from

this week.

Dresdner says it has commissioned the ratings to provide greater clarity

for investors and to allow levels of volatility to be assessed more easily.

On the qualitative side, HSBC has looked at concentration of the

portfolio, in terms of stocks and sectors, as well as mandate, gearing,

style and capital structure.

Quantitatively, the ratings look at the volatility of returns, using

historic net asset values in comparison with the FTSE All-Share index.

Of Dresdner&#39s six conventional investment trusts, three have been given an

above-average rating, two have been classified as average and one as

slightly above average.

The zero shares of its two split-cap trusts have been given below-average

ratings, while the income shares of the JOS Holdings trust are also ranked

below average. However, the JOS capital shares have above-average risk, as

do the ordinary shares of the income growth trust.

All four of Dresdner&#39s endowment funds have been given below-average risk

ratings.

Dresdner head of investment trusts Simon White says: “There is increasing

need to provide clear independent analysis. The structures of investment

trusts have become increasingly complex over the past five years. For

example, the risk characteristics of zero-dividend preference shares issued

in the last two years are very different from those listed in the early

1980s.

“It is essential that investors have the comprehensive information

available to them to make an informed decision as to whether to invest in

an investment trust – independent analysis provides exactly this.”

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