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11th June 2015

Royal London Corporate Bond retains Elite Rating despite manager move to Fidelity

At the end of April 2015, Sajiv Vaid, lead manager of the Elite Rated Royal London Corporate Bond fund, announced that he would be leaving the company to join Fidelity Worldwide Investments. Once there, he will become co-manager of the MoneyBuilder Income and Extra Income funds, working alongside the highly respected Ian Spreadbury.

Usually, a manager move of this kind would result in the fund losing its Elite Rating. However, due to a number of reasons, outlined below, we have decided the fund should retain the Elite Rating.

Jonathan Platt, Sajiv’s co-manager and head of Royal London’s fixed income team, will take on full responsibility for the Royal London Corporate Bond fund. He was a very active co-manager, taking the lead on sector choices and duration decisions.

Jonathan is well-known and respected by the FundCalibre investment committee. He was also sole manager for this fund from 1999 to 2002, before Sajiv took the lead role. Consequently, a portion of the fund's long-term AlphaQuest score belongs to him. In addition, Royal London has very much a team-based process.

Following a meeting with Jonathan last week to discuss future plans for the fund, we are satisfied that the investment process will remain unchanged and that the fund has been left in good hands.

Commenting on the move, Darius McDermott, managing director of FundCalibre said: “Fidelity has made a good hire, in what looks like good succession planning for when Ian Spreadbury decides to retire.

“However, Jonathan has been co-manager on the fund for many years and had sole responsibility for the fund in the early days. Much of the long-term manager skill, identified by our AlphaQuest quantitative screen, has come from Jonathan. Couple this with the process-driven support of the rest of the fixed income team, and we are happy to retain the Elite Rating on the fund.”

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