InvestorWeb managed investments research is adopting a more qualitative-based approach to its ratings and plans to employ two more analysts, in addition to three hires made in October, over the next few months.

The retail research house has reduced its quantitative weighting from 50 per cent to 20 per cent and is about to launch its first sector report on hedge funds under the new process which will be followed by fixed interest. “The quant side will really be about backing up our decisions. It’s really going to become a lot better,” Angela Ashton, general manager investments, said. InvestorWeb also plans to increase turnaround time for sector reports from the current 18 months to 12 months. However, the researcher’s six-star ratings system is still under a cloud with a decision to be made on its future early next year. The InvestorWeb analyst team was left with just Ashton in August when Rodney Sebire left to join Skandia and she was made general manager investments in the same month when the team was moved from Melbourne to Sydney. Sallyanne Cook, senior investment analyst, and investment analysts Jeremy Graham-Higgs, and Ty Chea were all hired in October. At least one more analyst will be hired this year with more scheduled for next year. InvestorWeb is also planning on becoming much more active with regard to model portfolios and asset allocation reports, Ashton said. “We’ve done some model portfolios before but it hasn’t been a strong suit,” she said. Asset allocation is a totally new area for the ratings agency, which plans on writing more research reports for planners. Ashton was originally hired as InvestorWeb head of alternative research in April and hedge funds, closed-ended funds and structured products are a focus for the group. Prior to joining InvestorWeb, Ashton was head of managed investments at Aegis Equities, the share research firm formerly owned by Assirt, with who she is currently engaged in a legal battle at the NSW Industrial Relations Commission. She also had a long stint as a senior analyst at van Eyk Research.

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