M&G assets in ‘dog’ funds almost double since January

Aberdeen Asset Management and M&G once again lead the pack in wealth manager Tilney Bestinvest’s latest 'Spot the Dog' list of serially underperforming UK funds, although M&G has increased its lead in this dubious league.

The bi-annual Spot the Dog report highlights Oeics and unit trusts that have underperformed their benchmarks for three consecutive years, and by more than 10%, over a three-year period.

Total M&G assets under management in ‘dog’ funds have almost doubled from £6 billion to £11.9 billion since January's report, as its £5.5 billion Global Dividend fund became the latest product to be included. In total, five M&G funds feature, including the firm’s Recovery, Global Basics, North American Dividend and Global Leaders, all repeat offenders.

In total, M&G holds 60% of total ‘dog’ assets, unchanged from the January report, while the overall level of £18 billion in dog funds is also the same.

In January 54 funds featured – this time, the total has fallen to 30. However, this is due to a change in methodology to only analyse the lower-cost, commission-free version of funds. This change means Halifax and Scottish Widows funds, previously run by Aberdeen, no longer appear.

Aberdeen, which had 11 funds featured in the last report, have seen their ‘dog’ funds fall to six (the most of any firm), while its assets in ‘dogs’ have fallen from £3 billion to £2.1 billion. The firm remains a faraway second.

Funds included were Asia Pacific Equity, North American Equity, European Smaller Companies Equity, Ethical World Equity, World Equity and World Equity Income plus the St James's Place Far East fund, in which it is underlying manager.

A new entrant to the list was Invesco Perpetual, which makes a reappearance after three years due to its £764 million Global Equity Income fund.

Other firms, also contributing a single ‘dog’ to the ranking, included Columbia Threadneedle, Jupiter, NFU Mutual, Old Mutual, Sarasin and GAM.

In sector terms, Global and North America were the worst performers with 16 and six ‘dogs’ respectively. Europe, Japan and Global Emerging Markets all had one ‘dog’, while UK Equities and Asia Pacific ex-Japan offered two funds each.

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