There are six new entrants to the latest Sanlam White List of the best UK equity income funds, with Mark Slater's Income fund ousting LF Miton UK Multi Cap Income from the top spot.
Sanlam's bi-annual study ranks UK equity income funds over five individual calendar years using seven different criteria based on performance, volatility and the income distributed, with the most recent period of performance receiving a greater weighting.
Funds are then divided between the White, Grey and Black Lists.
The White List is formed from funds that have established their ability over five years to produce superior total returns, while the Grey List can be a temporary home for a manager with an out-of-favour style or an early warning signal for a fund in decline.
In contrast, the Black List is for consistent underperformers and, unless remedial action is being taken, a sign for investors to look elsewhere, according to Sanlam.
In the White List, Slater Income moved up from fourth place to first place, usurping LF Miton UK Multi Cap Income which fell into third. Sanlam said the £146m fund, run by Mark Slater, had been performing strongly since January 2017 and praised its "high-ranking dividend yield versus peers, consistent performance and moderate volatility".
The £1.1bn Miton fund, managed by Gervais Williams and Martin Turner, had previously held onto the top spot for three consecutive studies.
New entrants into the latest White List were Artemis Income, Schroder Income, Schroder Income Maximiser, FP Miton Income, Aviva Investors UK Equity Income and Insight Equity Income Booster.
Sanlam highlighted those funds which had made the prestigious list were those which were "adept at taking advantage of a volatile corporate and economic climate".
The £6.2bn Artemis Income fund rose 15 places from the Grey List to fourth in the White List and the report noted it had seen consistent performance, despite not paying a high dividend income.
"It is worth mentioning Adrian Frost's Artemis Income fund which had quite a big fall in 2017. It was placed in 30th position a year ago versus all peers for the period," the report said.
"Since then, the fund has delivered on its mandate and, despite not paying the highest dividend income, it has managed to perform consistently in all the other years reviewed, in particular over the last two studies."
The £59m Ardevora UK Income fund climbed 31 places from the Black List to the top of the Grey List. The fund, which is managed by Jeremy Lang, fell into the Black List in January after "challenging" performance but Sanlam said its performance had become more consistent, which warranted the upward move.
Funds which fell from the White List to the Grey List were the Royal London UK Equity Income, SLI UK Equity Income Unconstrained, Premier Monthly Income and Premier Income. These sat in fifth, sixth, ninth and 12th place in January's White List but have now fallen to the middle of the Grey List.
Sanlam said the main reasons funds were moved down into the Grey List was having higher volatility than their peers.
Only three funds joined the Black List with the worst fund being the HSBC Income fund. The three new entrants were Unicorn UK Income, Schroder UK Alpha Income and the Fidelity Enhanced Income fund.
"The Unicorn UK Income fund has dropped from the Grey List to the Black List after being in the White List in July 2017. The fund, managed by Fraser Mackersie and Simon Moon, suffered from stock-specific issues which have affected the most recent calendar numbers, leaving the fund at the bottom of the peer group over the period reviewed."
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