Three asset management firms have seen significant upgrades to their funds with many being moved up to the highest-possible five Crown rating.
Five Crowns were awarded to funds which were in the top 10% based on alpha, volatility and consistently strong performance.
IPAC Asset Management, which is owned by AMP, received the most five Crown ratings of any Australian company at 12 funds, nine of which were upgrades.
These came from a variety of sectors with the SIS International Share Strategy being awarded a five Crown rating for the first time.
Diversified Investment Strategy 4, North Professional High Growth, North Multi Manager Active Growth, MMP High Growth, Select Index Balanced, Life Choices Index 85, North Guardian Volatility Growth and Life Choices Active 100 funds were all upgraded from four Crowns to five.
Stephen Flegg, portfolio manager, multi-asset group, at AMP Capital, said: “We have stuck to the funds’ principle objectives and have an established client base.
“The biggest driver of returns has come from portfolio construction, where diversification is the most important principle, followed by dynamic asset allocation and managers’ stock selection.
“The first half of 2019 was particularly good for our growth funds and our index funds have also done well.”
Macquarie Asset Management also had 11 funds with five Crown ratings but fewer were upgraded with nine having retained their rating from the previous survey.
Following IPAC was Zurich Financial Services which saw five of its funds given a five Crown rating. The funds selected were all versions of its Global Growth strategy.
Apart from the Concentrated Global Growth fund, which retained its previous five Crown rating, all were upgraded from three Crowns.
Matthew Drennan, head of savings and investment at Zurich, said: “The funds select quality stocks with accelerated earnings that can be sustained, they tick all three of the boxes of alpha, low volatility and consistent performance.
“However, the funds are more defensive than they have been in the past as valuations are looking stretched and some areas have been bid up aggressively.”
Lastly, specialist property manager Resolution Capital had three funds which received a five Crown rating. These were Resolution Global Property Securities, Global Property Securities Unhedged and Global Property Securities Hedged, which were all upgraded from four Crowns.
A spokesperson for Resolution said: “Our investment approach is deliberately unconventional and the results are a testament to the approach and the commitment of the team to deliver consistent outperformance for our clients.
“The portfolio typically contains 45 to 50 high-quality listed global real estate securities, which meet our stringent selection criteria. The investment strategy also focuses on avoiding permanent impairment of capital, in line with the objective of long-term real wealth creation for clients.