Jesse Dashefsky

In March, Morningstar manager research analysts assigned new Morningstar Analyst Ratings to nine funds, upgraded the ratings of seven funds, downgraded the ratings of eight funds, and placed 10 funds' ratings under review. Analysts also affirmed ratings for 149 funds and two target-date series. Below are some of March's highlights, followed by the full list of ratings changes. 

Upgrades
 MFS Global Equity (MWEBX) was upgraded to Gold from Silver. The fund has maintained a sound investment strategy through a smooth manager transition. David Mannheim, who has run the fund since 1992, will retire in April 2018. He will be succeeded by Roger Morley and Ryan McAllister, MFS veterans who joined the manager roster in 2009 and 2016, respectively. Morley and McAllister will continue the fund's conservative, quality-oriented approach, investing in global firms with steady cash flow, strong balance sheets, and sustainable growth. They will benefit from the deep bench of equity analysts who supported the fund's peer-beating performance over the trailing 10- and 15-year periods. The fund's only foible is its lack of a fee advantage, which prompted a Price Pillar downgrade to Neutral from Positive even as the fund earned Gold overall.

Jesse Dashefsky does not own shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar's editorial policies.