Some of the funds making the top grade in Standard & Poor’s global ratings will no longer do so following an overhaul of the agency’s rating system from Monday.

S&P is tweaking its two-decade old grading methodology to increase the weighting given to due diligence and operational risk, portfolio monitoring systems and controls and the volatility of drawdowns.

It is also switching from triple, double and single-A bandings to platinum, gold, silver and bronze.

“This is a more robust market tool, something that people have been looking for,” said Damian Burleigh, managing director, Emea at S&P Capital IQ.

“Over the past 12 months, we have seen fewer funds able to qualify for platinum and gold funds grading [under the new system],”

In S&P’s European single country equities sector, only nine funds would have gained the top two ratings in January 2012 compared to 13 a year earlier. Among Pacific equity funds, there would have been no top-rated funds this January, compared to two 12 months earlier, while top-rated UK equity income funds would have slipped from 14 in January last year to 12.

The change to the ratings approach has been driven by the increasing number of fund launches and complexity of funds.

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