Baillie Gifford, J. P. Morgan and Rathbones have fallen out of the top 20 list of asset managers with the highest number of 5 Crown-rated funds in FE's latest bi-annual rebalance.
The previous reshuffle, which took place in July 2018, saw Baillie Gifford in joint second (after Schroders), JPM in joint third and Rathbones in fourth place respectively.
However, none of the groups have made the top 20 just six months later.
The FE team said Baillie Gifford's style, which currently has a strong bias towards technology disruptors, was impacted in last year's volatility.
Tanvi Kandlur, senior fund analyst, added: "Funds with a growth bias got particularly caught out in the October sell-off, where those with a more value-based approach protected better on the downside."
Meanwhile, JPM's downgrade was due to some of its individual strategies. Kandlur continued: "A couple of the UK quantitative funds managed by the behavioural team did not work in 2018 as such funds underperform when there is no clear direction in markets.
"Also, two funds in the emerging market space saw a slight downgrade, mostly on the back of a volatile year for the region hurt by weak sentiment and rapid currency depreciation across the board."
New group leaders
Architas and PIMCO made it to the top of the table for the first time since the ratings were introduced in 2009, boasting 13 and 12 funds with 5 Crowns respectively, compared to six and five funds in July.
Among the successful climbers were the PIMCO GIS EM Corporate Bond, Global Investment Grade Credit and Income funds, and Architas' Birthstar TD 2021 25 and MA Passive Dynamic funds, which all jumped by at least two places to receive the highest accolade.
Charles Younes, research manager at FE, said: "Considering that neither Architas nor PIMCO has appeared in the top five groups before, to achieve a top-three place is outstanding.
"Most of PIMCO's fixed income funds have seen upgrades at this rebalance reflecting the strong performance across the range.
"Architas' leap up the table can be explained by the dominance of multi-asset, volatility managed funds in its range, a strategy that worked well in a volatile year like 2018."
Schroders retains its position in first place with 16 of its funds holding 5 FE Crowns, while other groups entering the top 20 list this year include LGIM, M&G and Stewart Investors.
One of the largest funds seeing a substantial upgrade was the £1.1bn Schroder Recovery fund, managed by Kevin Murphy and Nick Kirrage, which jumped from 2 Crowns to 5.
Fund analyst Amy Kennedy said: "This fund has outperformed over three years with strong performance in 2016 and 2018 due to its large-cap bias, foreign equity allocation and cash holdings, which helped protect against the downside in both years.
"The fund's value style would also have contributed to returns following the post-Brexit rally in 2016, for example."