Neil Woodford, Robin Geffen and Bill Mott are among the leading UK Equity Income managers to be downgraded in the latest SPI Income Study.
The study, formerly the Principal White List, downgraded Woodford’s flagship £11.9bn Invesco Perpetual High Income fund and placed a sell rating on both of his flagship funds after questioning his pragmatism and citing concerns about asset growing.
The High Income fund is fourth quartile in the Investment Management Association UK equity income sector in the past 12 months, having returned 9.3 per cent compared to a 15.8 per cent sector average.
Woodford’s £9bn Income fund was cut from the White List for the first time in a decade in July. Both now sit in the grey list.
SPI head of managed funds Paul Surguy says: “When we are in an environment which is essentially a great economic experiment, we need managers that can be a bit more pragmatic in the short term. Woodford takes a long-term view and has a focus on large caps, particularly healthcare. In this environment we favour managers that can react a little more quickly.”
Other funds dropped from the White List include the £505m Fidelity MoneyBuilder Dividend and the £537m Threadneedle UK Monthly Income.
Among those joining the list are the £83m Unicorn UK Income fund, managed by Chris Hutchinson and John McClure and the £46m PFS Chelverton UK Equity Income fund. SPI has also placed a sell rating on the £2.2bn Newton Higher Income fund. Newton’s head of UK equities Richard Wilmot replaced Tinekke Frikkee as lead manager on the fund in December to launch a revamp of the portfolio.
Also new in the Black List is the £902m Neptune Income fund, managed by Robin Geffen which retains a sell rating, and the PSigma Income fund.