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Morningstar has revamped its fund classification system for UCITS funds, discontinuing use of the Absolute Return category.
The firm has added 18 new alternative investment categories to replace ones such as EUR Absolute Return, Non-EUR Absolute Return and Long-Short. According to Morningstar, the new categories are a wholesale upgrade of its classification of open-end funds with alternative investment strategies, which offer investors clearer descriptions of the underlying strategies employed by the funds.
The new categorisations see the underlying investment portfolio and risk exposures being used to determine category selection. Funds are also split depending on region, asset class and strategy type.
Absolute Return as a fund category definition has become too associated with a broader industry marketing term that has made performance promises that have often failed to deliver, said Christopher Traulsen, director of European and Asian fund research for Morningstar. To make our categories more useful and transparent to investors, we reviewed our alternative peer groups to better categorise funds by the type of strategy deployed.
We believe the new alternative categories do a superior job of capturing the range of strategies used by the represented funds, and were pleased to offer this further clarity to investors and fund providers.