It earns a High Parent rating, an upgrade from Above Average.
Although many investment firms espouse a long-term orientation, MFS' long-run mindset is evident throughout the organization and sets it apart. Its research team, which is populated by mostly homegrown analysts, is the heart of the firm. Analysts, known as specialists at MFS, can build careers at the firm, and relative to competitors, MFS has among the industry's lowest analyst turnover. At the same time, the stability of the research team deserves credit for MFS' success in handling transitions among portfolio managers, or generalists at MFS, because it can promote from a deep pool of skilled investors who are well-versed in the firm's philosophy. Portfolios across the board are also built for the long term and boast comparatively low turnover rates.
The firm does not chase industry fads. MFS is measured in its product development, which is focused on client need and internal capability, and fund launches, and subsequent mergers or liquidations, are uncommon. MFS isn't standing pat, though; it is considering other popular vehicles, including active exchange-traded funds, separately managed accounts, and collective investment trusts.
Equity strategies still account for the bulk of the firm's assets, but MFS has also thoughtfully built out its fixed-income and multi-asset capabilities.