28 January 2015 - In an unusually candid open letter, Stuart Rhodes, manager of the M&G Global Dividend fund, has apologised to his investors for the disappointing performance of the fund in 2014.
The letter, which is available on this link, addresses the reasons why the fund underperformed both its benchmark and sector average in the past calendar year.
Stuart is an up and coming manager, whom we have supported from very early on in his career. He has managed the fund since its launch in 2008, and we added it to the Chelsea Selection shortly afterwards. This was an unusual move for us as we usually like a manager to have more experience. However, we were so impressed with Stuart, and the way he articulated his investment process, that we put our faith in him. Investors have been rewarded ever since and, to put it into context, this is the first year since its launch that the fund has underperformed.
Stuart has been equally eloquent in this letter and it is to his credit that he has acknowledged the performance issues so openly and in such a timely manner. Every fund manager, no matter how great, will have an off year or two, and we believe Stuart will turn the performance around once again. We have maintained a buy rating for the fund and it remains on the Chelsea Core Selection.