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S&P brings back IMA&#39s categories

Standard & Poor&#39s is reinstating the IMA&#39s sector classifications on all its investment products after the IMA expressed concern over the decision to ditch them for S&P&#39s own.

S&P said in July it was replacing the IMA&#39s classifications on its Fund Expert broker tool and website with its newly created global investment fund sector classifications, which include funds domiciled outside the UK. It said they would improve clarity and help investors compare a more comprehensive range of funds.

But the IMA argued that two sets of classifications would baffle investors, especially as S&P&#39s sectors are split into sub-categories reflecting, among others, ethical and ecological themes. The IMA also cast doubt over S&P&#39s ability, as a commercial organisation, to rein in fund managers violating sector constraints.

Although it denies the IMA&#39s reaction has affected its decision, S&P is now reinstating the IMA classifications, blaming technical glitches for its inability to do so before. The IMA is lobbying for a specific date for their reappearance but S&P says its technical department is unable to give a set time.

IMA head of statistics Dorian Caroll says: “We have had a couple of meetings and S&P has told us that they are going to do it, which is great. The issue now is when we can see our classifications on its products.”

S&P UK media manager Louise Collins says: “We have asked our technical people to put the classifications on all products. It is in progress.”

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