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Blast off for the stars

IPAC finally launches its controversial star ratings.

Thursday, May 21st 1998, 12:00AM

by Philip Macalister

Threats by FPG Research to stop rival researcher IPAC Securities using a star rating system for managed funds appears to have come to zip.
IPAC has sent out, on Thursday, copies of its star ratings to fund managers and will publish them early next week.
IPAC general manager David van Schaardenburg says FPG has, to his knowledge, not filed a court injunction to stop it producing its ratings systems.
The ratings will be available in IPAC's research package, and they will be published on its website click here

IPAC's stars, which are calculated monthly, are awarded on a straight quantitative basis, and measure past performance on a risk/return basis. They are designed to be used as an initial screen for investors considering a managed fund investment.
On the other hand FPG's are a mix of quantitative and qualitative factors which endeavours to pick the future winners amongst funds and managers.
Another key difference is that IPAC won't be charging a manager to use its stars in promotional material, while FPG does charge.
For some managers these charges run to tens of thousands of dollars.
Van Schaardenburg says managers using the IPAC stars have to have their advertisements vetted by the research house, plus they have to run a byline and a standard "health warning".
He says both systems have their flaws and it's important the end-users are aware of these shortcomings.
IPAC is expecting some flak, particularly from managers that haven't scored as well as they may have expected.
"Some managers will probably be surprised their ratings aren't as good as they would like," he says.
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