Platform interactive investor has removed BlackRock Frontiers Investment Trust from its Super 60 list of rated funds and placed two emerging market funds under review amid "performance concerns".
The firm said it thought its clients would be better off seeking exposure to frontier markets through a broader emerging markets vehicle that includes frontier nations in its investment universe, after finding funds solely focused on frontier markets had all underperformed their MSCI reference index over three and five years.
That means it has taken the £228.8m BlackRock Frontiers IT, run by Sam Vecht and Emily Fletcher, off its buy list, noting the trust has lost almost a third in the three years to 31 August and gained 13.2% over five years, well below the MSCI Frontier Market index's 7.4% loss and 34% gain respectively.
Head of funds research Dzmitry Lipski said the firm thought BlackRock Frontiers was "no longer suitable to be an endorsed option for our customers".
He pointed out that the trust had also underperformed its newly instated bespoke benchmark index, which it has been compared against since it expanded its investible universe to cover the 16 smallest countries in the MSCI EM index + Frontier + Saudi Arabia in April 2018.
"In addition, attribution analysis for the last 12 months shows the underperformance was primarily down to poor stock selection," Lipski added. "The trust's performance under the previous mandate was strong and well ahead of their benchmark."
Elsewhere, interactive investor has placed two emerging market funds - Utilico Emerging Markets IT and Templeton EM Smaller Companies - under review amid performance concerns.
Schroder Income has also been placed under review after a sustained period of underperformance, while BMO Commercial Property Investment Trust has, too, due to "continued uncertainty around the income payments and its persistently wide share price discount to net asset value".
The platform said its selection committee would decide whether to retain each fund within three months of its being placed under review.