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Fund Spy

Columbia Threadneedle Is Still Finding Its Way

Columbia Threadneedle has made strides toward a unified global brand but lacks the track record of a long-term dedication to shareholders' best interests.

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Morningstar recently issued a new Stewardship Grade for Columbia Threadneedle. The firm's overall grade--which considers corporate culture, fund board quality, fund manager incentives, fees, and regulatory history--is a C. What follows is Morningstar's analysis of the firm's corporate culture, for which Columbia Threadneedle also receives a C. This text, as well as analytical text on the other four Stewardship Grade criteria, is available to subscribers of Morningstar's software for advisors and institutions: Morningstar Advisor Workstation(SM), Morningstar Office(SM), and Morningstar Direct(SM).

The rebranded Columbia Threadneedle Investments (effective early 2015) represents a continued drive toward globalization for the asset-management business line of  Ameriprise Financial (AMP). U.S. mutual funds still follow the original Columbia brand, while those strategies sold outside of the U.S. primarily use the rebranded moniker. This global push remains a steady theme that has been in place for several years now. Particularly as outflows continue in the U.S., global diversification remains a key component to Columbia Threadneedle’s growth plans. Under the direction of CEO Ted Truscott and CIO Colin Moore, the asset manager prefers tailoring the brand for local presence. And while the company has made strides toward one cohesive culture, still more work remains. Particularly in the United Kingdom (the original home of Threadneedle Investments, prior to the completion of the acquisition), the asset-management team is still finding its way. After several departures, Diane Sobin and a core of long-standing managers have been actively strengthening the London-based leadership.

Gretchen Rupp does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.