The new ratings would be applied as Zenith moved through its annual review cycle, which commenced with the June 2021 release of its Australian fixed interest, Australian equities and property sector reviews.
The first ratings were available through Zenith’s adviser site, and as with Zenith’s existing ratings tiers, the new index ratings would include investment grade ratings of ‘Index Highly Recommended’, ‘Index Recommended’ and ‘Index Approved’.
Bronwen Moncrieff, Zenith general manager and head of research, said while the business had been rating index funds for many years, the launch of a dedicated index rating scale would meet increased demand for a high conviction rating solution specific to this sector of the investment universe.
“As the number of traditional index products offered to the Australian retail investor expands, we’re seeing offerings from the largest fund managers complemented by a growing band of smaller players,” Moncrieff said.
“Responding quickly and effectively to this evolving market need is important in being able to offer advisers access to all the information required to make the right investment recommendations for their clients.
“We’re confident the dedicated index rating methodology will be viewed favourably by the market, and afford greater choice and information for advisers.
“Its rollout over the coming months forms an important part of our research strategy and service offering.”