Standard & Poor’s is examining how it can rate closed-end and listed structured products on an ongoing basis to meet the demands of financial planners.

The ratings agency currently conducts reviews of structured products as they come up and during their open period but does not conduct an overall sector review. “The diversity of asset classes represented by those products is growing,” Mark Hoven, Standard & Poor’s head of fund rating, said. Standard & Poor’s recently hired Tara Bell as an associate within the fund ratings team but is also looking for another analyst in the alternative space. With the number and type of structured products available to retail investors increasing financial planners have an obligation to their clients to review those products, even if they are no longer open to new investments. “We understand there’s a need there for an ongoing review of those types of products… We’re looking at how we deal with that,” Hoven said. Standard & Poor’s will this week release its review of the international large cap and long/short equity sector, which has seen the number of products has more than doubled to 56. Hoven said Standard & Poor’s decided to include long/short in the international large cap sector review because their short positions were mostly for risk control rather than for alpha. “At the end of the day their exposure is to the international equity space,” he said. The Australian large cap sector review, which is due for a July/August release, will also include long/short funds.

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