Manhattan Corp.'s proprietary mutual funds on Tuesday and put another of the Chase Vista Funds on "watch" status.

S&P, which introduced its ratings system in March, said the changes were prompted by Chase's announcement last week that it had removed its U.S. equity management team and relocated that division from New York to Houston.

The Chase Vista Small Cap Equity fund was one of 21 small-capitalization growth funds given Standard & Poor's "select" grade in April. The Equity Growth Fund/Premier, a large-capitalization growth fund, was placed on "watch" Tuesday; it had been labeled "select" in March along with 22 other Chase funds.

Removal of the "select" status is not necessarily permanent, S&P said.

Sarah E. Jones, the head of global sales and marketing for Chase's global asset management and mutual funds unit, said in a press statement that she is confident the Houston team will "enhance the leadership position of all Chase mutual funds and produce strong results" for shareholders.

S&P's ratings are available for free on its Web site, and printed copies are provided to more than 10,000 financial planners and brokers, said Michael Wasserman, an associate in Standard & Poor's mutual funds rating department. The company plans to rate funds in the large-capitalization value category starting in September, he said.

-- Cheryl Winokur

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