SQM RESEARCH is announcing today that it is expanding its’ ratings business (sqmratings.com.au) to provide coverage on Global and Australian listed equities fund reviews. As part of this expansion in research coverage, the firm has further enhanced its’ research quality by creating a Ratings Advisory Committee (RAC) which will include an independent member, Mr Nigel Douglas.

Nigel Douglas is an industry recognised figure who has held a number of senior positions over the last 15 years in investment manager research, most notably as Head of Research at van Eyk between 2008 and 2010. In that role, he worked with SQM who undertook research in selected property-related sectors at that time.

The ratings advisory committee (RAC) will be comprised of Rob da Silva, SQM’s Head of Research, Nigel Douglas and chaired by SQM’s Managing Director Louis Christopher. The ratings committee will only act as an advisory committee on ratings. Ratings will still be formulated and ultimately determined by SQM’s analysts and respective Head of Research. Effectively the advisory committee acts as a ‘brains trust’ and a ‘checks and balances’ committee.

Nigel Douglas will effectively be an independent contributor to SQM Research’s senior decision making group on fund research. In addition, on a contract basis, he will be directly involved in assessing some of the equity related funds that are part of the current review by SQM Research. This draws on his extensive research experience (from 2001) in undertaking and managing sector reviews across all major asset classes, including equities.

In its inaugural equities review, which has already commenced, SQM Research has made a restricted invitation to predominantly independent fund managers who SQM believes has the potential to deliver strong Alpha (excess returns).

There are eight managers who are putting forward multiple investment funds for rating as part of the inaugural SQM Select Equities Review. These include: William Blair, Peters MacGregor, Invesco Australia, Millinium Funds Management, Robeco, Capital Group, Pengana Capital and Ausbil Invesment Management. The release of the Select Equities Review should occur prior to Christmas 2015 or January 2016.

Louis Christopher, Managing Director of SQM Research says the expansion into equity fund ratings enables SQM Research to finally provide coverage on all major asset classes, following on from its successful expansion into fixed income research and alternatives research earlier in 2015.

“We believe that some of our larger competitors are not reviewing enough smaller, more independent backed fund managers in the market place. I know through my talks with some our financial planning clients that they would like to see more coverage in this sector. And that is what we are going to deliver given our successful track record across other sectors and the rigor of our process underpinned by an experienced research team.” He added that:

“Our goal here at SQM Research is to be able to offer to clients the most senior research team possible and provide the most insightful research reports possible”.

Source: SQM Research

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