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Fund firms slammed for figures used in ads

IFAs have criticised some of the UK&#39s top fund managers for using what they claim to be misleading past performance figures.

Scottish Widows Investment Partnership&#39s European fund advertising has been highlighted after+ the departure of star fund manager Albert Morillo more than a year ago.

Swip&#39s ad says a £7,000 investment in the fund in February 1986 would now be worth around £85,190.

But it fails to mention that since Morillo&#39s departure to US fund manager Black Rock in December 1999, the fund has fallen to the bottom quartile of its sector.

Money Marketing highlighted the ads six months ago but Swip insists its fund is run on a team approach.

Merrill Lynch Investment Managers is to build its advertising campaign around its UK dynamic fund, highlighting both its past performance and Standard & Poor&#39s rating. But the fund&#39s lead manager left MLIM two months ago and the fund rating is under review.

Head of retail marketing Rick Andrews says: “The team is still in place. Everything we do at Merrill Lynch is very much based on the team approach. We do not expect to see a change in the rating.”

Jupiter now qualifies whether a fund has seen a recent manager change in the small print of its ads after media accusations that its marketing was misleading.

Hargreaves Lansdown investment manager Ben Yearsley says: “It is the old story of lies, damn lies and statistics. You can make anything seem wonderful if you pick the right time period. Treat anything you read in these sort of adverts with caution. They can be very misleading.”

Investment, p26

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