The PIMCO Global Multi-Asset fund dropped one notch to a Bronze rating from a Silver rating, while the BlackRock Small Cap Growth Equity fund jumped one notch to a Neutral rating, exiting Negative territory, according to Morningstar.

Specifically, analyst Dan Culloton wrote that BlackRock’s growth equity fund’s checkered recent record and its higher risk relative to peers contributed to its previous Negative rating. However, Culloton contends that the fund is not a lost cause.

“Fees are reasonable. [Lead manager Andrew] Thut has worked as an analyst or co-manager here since 2002 and gets some credit for the fund's stronger record since then,” he wrote.

“The managers also contend they have been paying closer attention to BlackRock's risk-control tools. The fund still has a lot to prove, but due to its experienced management, consistent process, and reasonable fees it now gets a Neutral rating.”

On the flip side, analyst Michael Herbst labels the PIMCO Global Multi-Asset as “a work in progress with much going for it.”

“The fund's analytical heft is formidable. Co-managers Mohamed El Erian, Saumil Parikh (added in October 2012), Curtis Mewbourne, and Vineer Bhansali are well situated to apply PIMCO's macroeconomic thinking and draw upon the firm's skilled managers across equities, fixed income, commodities, and currencies,” explained Herbst.

However, he added that some aspects of the funds are less proven such as underlying equity funds in its portfolio such as PIMCO EqS Emerging Markets (PEQWX), EqS Pathfinder (PTHWX), and EqS Dividend (PQDIX), which are less than three years old, “and it remains to be seen whether their skippers can succeed within PIMCO's highly competitive culture.”

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