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Schroders duo among managers to lose ‘alpha’ status

Schroders equity duo Nick Kirrage and Kevin Murphy are among the big-name fund managers to lose their FE Alpha Manager title in this year’s rebalance.

In total, 26 fund managers lost their FE Alpha Manager rating in 2018. The rating is awarded to the top 10 per cent of UK retail fund managers according to performance throughout their careers.

The Schroders pair run the Recovery and Income funds, among others, and use a value bias, which FE says has fared badly in the 2018 rebalance with Invesco Perpetual’s Martin Walker also dropping out of the list.

Ben Leyland of JOHCM, GAM’s Paul McNamara, and Stephen Bailey of Liontrust have also lost their Alpha Manager rating.

Meanwhile, 43 fund managers have freshly landed the title of FE Alpha Manager in this year’s rebalance taking the total to 198.

Newton multi-asset manager Paul Flood is among the new additions, alongside Kames’ Craig Bonthron and Ardevora’s Ben Fitchew, who both manage global equity products.

Head of FE research Rob Gleeson says: “Smaller companies, emerging markets and Europe have been a more reliable hunting ground for alpha managers. These markets have been suffering from either structural inefficiencies or uncertain political situations, which adds a lot of noise.”

In contrast, bond markets have not offered much opportunity to outperform due to tight spreads, Gleeson says.

UK Smaller Companies has the largest proportion of Alpha Managers, who make up a third of the sector. 29 per cent of Asia Pacific including Japan managers hold the title, followed by 28 per cent for European Smaller Companies.

Fidelity, which has a lot of coverage in Asia Pacific equities, tops asset managers for the accolade with 10 named as Alpha Managers, while Schroders, BlackRock, GAM, Jupiter and Polar Capital each have six.

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