AKG produces a range of ratings. A principal area being Financial Strength, with further key ratings including; Future Performance, Transparency and Service.
Financial Strength ratings communicate AKG’s customer orientated assessment of a company’s ability to maintain operational capability to meet the needs of customers. These ratings are specifically designed for use by advisers, working on behalf of these customers.
This fundamental focus is distinct from the global rating agencies or those providing credit ratings, whose perspective is primarily that of meeting the requirements of a different audience. No AKG ratings are credit ratings and the strength and sustainability interests of market investors who might use credit ratings, are different and may even be at odds with AKG’s customer perspective.
It is solely this customer perspective, reflected in AKG’s rating approach, which is relevant for adviser due diligence and selection activity to deliver the required customer outcome perspective.
AKG ratings are widely available in the market, both directly from AKG and often from the rated entity itself. But also in a wide range of leading portals, software systems and publications.
The ratings and assessments which sit alongside them are produced using AKG's approach of providing a long term view. However, ratings and assessments are under constant scrutiny and AKG has the facility to review and reissue ratings at any time.
Whilst the assessment behind AKG ratings is complex, the scale used for presentation is deliberately simple to maintain accessibility and comparability. The scales used are a (lowest) – (highest) scale for star ratings and A (highest), B+, B, B-, C, D (lowest) for the overall financial strength rating.
The assessment approach used for all AKG ratings is that of a balanced scorecard, with a combination of criteria assessed and no single factor or measure being dominant. The criteria used for AKG Ratings are outlined in the relevant Ratings Guide:
Criteria combine to consider attributes in four overarching areas:
- Risk & Governance
All AKG ratings for financial strength at a company level are contained within the AKG Rating Portal for transparent ease of access.