(Repeat for additional subscribers)
March 27 (The following statement was released by the rating agency)
Fitch Ratings has assigned 'Strong' Fund Quality Ratings to the following three funds
managed by State Street Global Advisors (SSgA, NR):
SSgA Fundamental Equity Europe Spotlight Fund
SSgA Fundamental Equity Eurozone Spotlight Fund
SSgA Fundamental Equity Global Spotlight Fund
The 'Strong' rating reflects the disciplined investment process, the rigorous
fundamental research driving stock selections and the well-resourced investment
team, consistent across all three funds.
KEY RATING DRIVERS
The funds are sub-funds of the State Street Global Advisors Luxembourg SICAV.
The global fund was launched in December 2012, the Europe fund in May 2013 and
the eurozone fund in August 2013. Assets under management in each fund were (as
of February 2014), respectively, EUR28m (Europe), EUR21m (eurozone) and EUR45m
The investment process involves rigorous screening of the eligible investment
universe based on value and quality metrics to identify companies for further
research. Portfolio construction is equally rigorous based on an approximate
equal weighting and strong sell discipline relative to other stocks recommended
by the research team.
The proprietary stock research is of high quality, differentiated by its
consistency of approach, notably in its common set of accounting assumptions and
adjustments. Research outputs demonstrate a deep understanding of stocks covered
and key performance drivers.
The investment team consists of 24 staff, based in Dublin. The research team of
19 analysts is highly experienced and benefits from a variety of complementary
backgrounds. The funds' portfolio managers, Lance Graham (Europe), William
Killeen (eurozone) and Brian Routledge (global), are highly experienced and
ultimately responsible for the fund's performance.
SSgA's investment resources are extremely strong, including global trade
execution teams (11 traders in EMEA), an investment risk team of 16 and a
dedicated direct implementation (portfolio compliance monitoring) team based in
The funds, and comparable mandate reviewed by Fitch, have performed in-line with
the funds' stated investment style over a relatively short period in the case of
the funds which were launched in 2012-2013. The mandates however have a
considerably longer track-record, delivering particularly strong performance in
2012 compared both to peers, the funds' indices and to relevant value indices.
SSgA, a subsidiary of State Street Corporation (A+/Positive/F1+), is a global
asset manager with USD2.3trn in assets under management as of end-2013,
including EUR6.5bn in fundamental equities. The operational and IT environment
is built around standard third-party systems, providing well controlled and
The rating may be sensitive to material changes in the investment or operational
processes or resources dedicated to the fund. A material adverse deviation from
Fitch's guidelines for any key rating driver could result in a downgrade of the
rating. For example, this may be manifested in significant structural
deterioration in the fund's performance relative to its benchmark and peers, an
excessive risk deviation or style drift.
Fitch's Fund Quality Ratings combine Fitch's experience in qualitative fund
analysis with rankings and performance data from Lipper, a Thomson Reuters
company. Fitch's Fund Quality Ratings offer an independent, forward-looking
assessment of a fund's key performance and risk attributes and consistency of
longer-term returns, relative to peer group or benchmarks. The ratings focus on
the fund manager's investment process, key fund performance drivers, risk
management, and the quality of the fund's operational infrastructure.
For more information, please see www.fundmanagement.fitchratings.com
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