UK - A new style analysis service for investment and mutual funds has been launched by Style Research directly from its web site, free of charge.

Fund Research Online provides analysis of over 4,000 equity funds authorised for sale in the UK and the US. The service gives style and performance characteristics of the individual funds. It also covers ‘user-defined’ fund of fund constructions.

The analysis uses the return history of funds and is available for those funds with five years of data. Two levels of service are offered. The first, the fund selection, is the basic entry-level offering style and performance analysis which can show up the often changing style of individual funds.

It also demonstrated how fund performance can be attributed to the style allocation process and to manager skills in stock selection, said Style Research in a statement.

For those with more advanced requirements the ability to create and shape user-defined fund of funds is available.

Style research who are a leading of holdings-based analysis, said the returns based method is less revealing of fund detail but offers a rapid method of sifting through “the often overwhelming amount of fund data currently available”.

Style research head Robert Schwob sees the provision of this free-of-charge service as leading investors and their advisors to look for more sophisticated services.

The move he regards as positioning the outfit within the more individual investor market space as otherwise “we might find ourselves edged out”.

The website is intended for use by investment professionals and their clients.