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OPM makes A while the sun doesn’t shine

OPM Fund Management believes that the Standard & Poor’s A ratings awarded to the OPM balanced managed and fixed-interest funds will boost its reputation among IFAs.

The multi-manager says the ratings were won in challenging market conditions and feels this is as an achievement that IFAs will recognise. It says many IFAs use independent ratings agencies such as S&P to back up their own judgements when recommending funds to their clients.

Several changes have been made to the portfolios. The balanced managed fund’s weighting in BlackRock UK absolute alpha has increased from 3 to 7.6 per cent, making it the fund’s biggest holding.

OPM likes the BlackRock fund as it provides long and short exposure to the UK equity market in a way that is close to a hedge fund. In the month to March 14, 2008, the BlackRock fund returned 2.91 per cent against a 3.42 per cent fall in the FTSE All Share index.

OPM is also increasing its exposure to the US using a combination of actively managed funds. It has sold out of the iShares S&P 500 exchange traded fund to make way for Martin Currie North American and Neptune US opportunities in anticipation of a recovery.

Investment director Ross Henderson says: “We are more positive on the US because the slowdown is further down the line. We think that the UK and Europe are about six months behind.”

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