SQM Research has placed two Pengana international fund ratings on hold following the departure of two senior investment staff members.
The fund ratings on hold were Pengana International Fund and Pengana International Ethical Fund as the firm announced on Wednesday that chief investment officer and portfolio manager, Jordan Cvetanovski, and deputy portfolio manager, Steven Glass would leave the business immediately.
The ratings house said the departure of Cvetanovski and Glass was a significant event which required further investigation.
“As a result of these developments, SQM Research has changed the rating for each of these funds to ‘hold’. with immediate effect. The standard guidance used to describe this rating is shown below,” SQM said.
“The hold rating is an initial phase that will remain in place while SQM Research undertakes an assessment of the new permanent arrangements established by the manager, including the appointment of an external investment management team.”
The Pengana board appointed James McDonald as interim chief investment officer leading the investment team for the Pengana International Fund, Pengana International Ethical Fund, Pengana International Fund – Ethical Opportunity, and Pengana International Equities limited.
McDonald, it said, had previously managed the International Fund – Ethical Opportunity and International Equities Limited and had served as the deputy chief investment officer of Hunter Hall from 2011 until the merger with Pengana in 2017.
Pengana noted in its Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) announcement that the board would shortly announce details for permanent arrangements for each of the portfolios.
“Arrangements will include James and his team, in addition to a highly credentialed external investment management team. All portfolios will continue to be managed in accordance with their mandates, retaining the focus on ethical and responsible investment management, the generation of consistent long-term returns and downside risk mitigation,” it said.