Morningstar Fund Manager of the Year - nominasjoner

Nominasjonene for Morningstars Fund Manager of the Year er klare. 

Muna Abu-Habsa 09.02.2018 | 8:55

The winners will be announced at the Morningstar Awards hosted at the ALFI Conference in Luxembourg on 7th March, 2018.

The nominations, like the awards, are difficult to come by. We give only four of these awards in Europe each year: European Equity Fund Manager of the Year; Global Equity Fund Manager of the Year, Fixed-Income Fund Manager of the Year, and this year we have a new award for Multi-Asset and Alternatives. The winners of these awards are nominated and selected by Morningstar’s Europe-based team of manager research analysts.

Over the last few months the analysts pulled together to identify managers who they believe are among the very best at what they do. Although nominated managers should have had a strong 2017, that is far from sufficient qualification unto itself. To be nominated for an award, a manager should be running an active fund that is among the approximately 900 vehicles that receive a Morningstar Analyst RatingTM in Europe but, to hold nominees to the highest standards, that fund should also be a Medallist – meaning the analysts have recognised it with a Gold, Silver or Bronze Morningstar Analyst Rating after applying a rigorous evaluation using our Five-Pillar Methodology framework.

The analysts put funds through a rigorous evaluation using this framework, which weighs the quality of management, the strength of the process used to run the fund, the quality of the parent organisation—including how it treats investors in its funds—performance, and costs. You will find more details on the awards methodology here.

Global Equity Fund Manager of the Year Finalists

Manager: Gonzalo Pangaro

Nominated for work on: T. Rowe Price Emerging Markets Equity

Gonzalo Pangaro is a talented fund manager who has been at the helm of the Silver-rated T. Rowe Price Emerging Markets Equity fund since 2009. Pangaro has spent the bulk of his 24-year career at T. Rowe Price. He joined the emerging markets equity team in 1998 and first earned good results as the skipper of T. Rowe Price Latin America from 2004 to 2009. Pangaro is backed by one of the largest research teams dedicated to emerging markets and his ability to effectively use the vast resources at his disposal also sets him apart. Under his leadership, T. Rowe Price Emerging Markets Equity has consistently employed a well-proven investment process that targets industry leaders with strong growth prospects. His portfolio strikes the right balance between conservative and aggressive bets, which has helped performance in various market environments. We also appreciate that he aligns his interests with investors by having more than $1 million invested in the U.S.-sold fund T. Rowe Price Emerging Markets Stock (PRMSX, also rated Silver).

Manager: James Thomson

Nominated for work on: Rathbone Global Opportunities

James Thomson has provided investors with an admirable level of continuity, having been involved in the management of the Silver-rated Rathbone Global Opportunities fund since 2001. He became lead manager in 2003, since when he has richly rewarded investors with the consistent application of his idiosyncratic approach. His approach is quite unique in that he focuses far more on qualitative assessments of companies rather than quantitative screens in his idea generation. He targets easy-to-understand businesses that have the ability to control their own destiny (i.e. those which aren’t overly reliant upon exogenous factors), which acts as an effective filter in whittling down the investment universe. He has an established network of broker analysts that he has successfully leveraged over time, combining their insight with his own stock knowledge that he has built up over the years to identify companies that he thinks have superior growth prospects that are not fully appreciated by the market. Despite not having the support of a cast of thousands in terms of analytical resource (he is backed by just one analyst), Thomson has consistently proved an adept stock-picker and a talented portfolio manager.

Manager: Terry Smith

Nominated for work on: Fundsmith Equity and Fundsmith Equity Feeder

Terry Smith has over three decades of investment experience, during which time he has developed his own approach to investing and portfolio management. This was first tested during his time as CEO at Tullet Prebon, where he started advising the pension fund from 2003. He created his own investment boutique on the back of success on that mandate in 2010, launching Fundsmith Equity as its flagship product. His investment approach sees him construct a focused portfolio of companies that he considers to have high quality franchises that he would be happy to ‘hold for life’ - his outlook is one of the longest-term of any manager that we cover, with a portfolio turnover of under 5%. This also helps keep trading costs down, which Smith feels is important. Smith’s knowledge of stocks is impressive - we believe that one of his strengths is his ability to look at companies with the viewpoint of a former CEO of a sizeable company. Even when factoring in the style tailwind, Smith’s stock selection has been consistently strong. His process is based on sound investment theory, has been developed over a long period of time, and has been implemented consistently.

European Equity Fund Manager of the Year Finalists

Manager: Michael Fraikin, Thorsten Paarmann and the Invesco Quantitative Strategies Team

Nominated for work on: Invesco Pan European Structured Equity

The team behind this fund is exceptionally strong and they were Morningstar’s European Equity Managers of the Year in 2015. Lead managers Michael Fraikin and Thorsten Paarman are part of a group, Invesco Quantitative Strategies, which features more than 40 experienced professionals who continuously develop and refine the quantitative methodologies at the heart of this fund’s stock-selection approach. The team’s breadth and quality of experience is key to our confidence. With their diligent approach in place since September 2006, the team has built an outstanding long-term record. Indeed, the returns of Invesco Pan European Structured Equity are among the best in the Morningstar Europe Large-Cap Blend Equity Category, while remaining one of the least-volatile offerings. The fund has displayed superior resilience in difficult market environments but this is not its only strength, as evidenced by its showing in 2017 when it delivered top-quintile returns, bolstered notably by good stock selection across most selection criteria. Quantitative strategies are susceptible to strong trend reversals, but the consistency of returns across different market cycles is testament to the quality of the team’s work here.

Manager: Alice Gaskell and Andreas Zoellinger

Nominated for work on: BGF Euro-Markets, BGF European Equity Income & BlackRock Continental Euro Income

Alice Gaskell and Andreas Zoellinger are a duo of exceptional quality. The managers have extensive experience in managing European equity mandates, with Gaskell running BGF Euro-Markets since 2003, accompanied by Zoellinger as co-manager since 2007. The duo is part of a broader European equity team under the leadership of Nigel Bolton, whom we hold in high regard. It is a cohesive group of people, working closely together. The strategy applied is style-agnostic, which gives the managers flexibility to invest where they see value. Gaskell and Zoellinger look for companies with quality management, strong competitive positioning, financial discipline, and with catalysts for (short-term) revaluation by the market. By assembling a concentrated but diversified portfolio they aim to generate the majority of return from stocks rather than sector or country calls. Such latitude only works in the hands of highly capable managers, and Gaskell and Zoellinger have demonstrated their superior skills in various market environments for over a decade. The quality of execution is exemplary which is displayed by their consistent track record for BGF Euro-Markets, but also for the equity income funds they have run since 2011.

 

Manager: Fabio Riccelli

Nominated for work on: Fidelity Funds - European Dynamic Growth

Fabio Riccelli climbed up Fidelity’s analysts ranks in London in the early 2000s and assumed his first stint in portfolio management in 2004. He developed his portfolio management skills with the guidance of veteran Fidelity manager Colin Stone, running a sleeve of the European Smaller Companies fund, though he became a capable manager in his own right and has been single-handedly running the Silver-rated Fidelity European Dynamic Growth fund since 2008. His disciplined stock selection process plays to the team’s strength in fundamental analysis, as he is well-supported by Fidelity's sizable research team and strong group of European equity managers, which was key to the fund’s success. Riccelli selects stocks individually, targeting firms with high and durable growth rates. His patient, long-term mindset leads to a low turnover, relatively compact and highly distinctive portfolio. This approach has handsomely rewarded the fund’s shareholders: over his tenure at the helm of the strategy, the manager outpaced his competition by a wide margin, delivering an impressive annualised return of 14.9% (in EUR terms) through the end of 2017.

Fixed Income Fund Manager of the Year Finalists

Manager:  Bart van der Made, Rob Drijkoningen and Gorky Urquieta

Nominated for work on: Neuberger Berman Emerging Market Debt - Hard Currency

Neuberger Berman’s emerging market debt hard currency team ticks all the boxes. Lead manager Bart van de Made and EMD co-heads Rob Drijkoningen and Gorky Urquieta have been working together on their hard currency strategy since 2000 (first at NNIP and then at Neuberger Berman since 2013). The managers are very experienced in emerging-markets debt, with an average experience of over 21 years, and their ongoing collaboration is invaluable. They have successfully applied a proven process focused on bottom-up country selection. Unlike many of their peers, they exclusively invest in hard currency debt. In that sense, this team has fewer levers to pull than many of their competitors. Nevertheless, they have been very successful in adding value for their investors through superior country selection. They have steered away from major defaults like Argentina, Ecuador and more recently Venezuela. Given the team’s above-average size, experience level and robust track record, we consider it one of the best in the category.

 

Manager: Eve Tournier

Nominated for work on: PIMCO GIS Euro Income and PIMCO GIS Diversified Income

Eve Tournier has 18 years of experience and her credentials include a very successful stint managing the Silver-rated PIMCO GIS Diversified Income since 2010, as well as the more recent PIMCO GIS Euro Income strategy (which holds a Morningstar Analyst Rating of Bronze). As most other global portfolio managers at PIMCO, Tournier can leverage sizeable resources, in particular the group’s more than 50 credit analysts that play a key role here given the strong focus on corporate bonds for income generation. But the primary responsibility for portfolio construction remains the fund manager’s, and she has demonstrated her ability to use these resources to good effect over time. Over Tournier’s tenure, both PIMCO GIS Diversified Income and PIMCO GIS Euro Income have delivered on their distribution objective without sacrificing capital preservation, and have outperformed their respective peers on a risk-adjusted basis. We also appreciate that Tournier is personally invested in all of the strategies she manages, which helps strengthen the alignment of her interests with those of investors. 

Manager: Mark Dowding, Russel Matthews and Mark Bathgate

Nominated for work on: BlueBay Investment Grade Euro Government Bond

Mark Dowding, Russel Matthews and Mark Bathgate jointly run the Bronze-rated BlueBay Investment Grade Euro Government fund. The trio of veteran fixed income investors boast an average of 20 years’ experience and bring to this European government bond strategy complementary skillsets, with solid expertise in rates as well as macro and central bank analysis. The fund managers can also leverage BlueBay’s well-resourced, experienced and stable Investment Grade team, which we consider one of the best in the European IG space. They run a high conviction, top-down driven process, with country selection being the key alpha driver. There is a strong emphasis on fundamental macro analysis, with the differentiator being the team’s ability to evaluate how macroeconomics and politics shape the financial markets. The strength of the team and process reflects in the solid long-term performance numbers, which have been impressive since the fund was launched in 2010 on both absolute- and risk-adjusted basis. 

Fund Manager of the Year Finalists for Multi-Asset and Alternatives

Manager: Paul Causer, Paul Read and team

Nominated for work on: Invesco Pan European High Income, IP Distribution and IP Monthly Income Plus

Although best known for their work within fixed income, Paul Causer and Paul Read are also among the most successful income fund managers in the European multi-asset space. They started working together at Invesco in 1995, and are leaders in a highly accomplished and experienced team of 20 fixed-income professionals at Invesco. They invest with an unconstrained approach that is focused on finding good value primarily based on their macro analysis. This led them to lean on financials after the financial crisis, and more recently on high yield names, as they have found very little value in European government bonds. In managing multi-asset funds, such as the Silver-rated Invesco Pan European High Income, Causer and Read are responsible for fixed income security selection and asset class weights, but leave the equity team to manage their sleeve fairly independently. The approach has brought very strong results: the Pan European High Income fund is in the first percentile in its EUR Cautious Allocation category in the trailing ten year period (through end-Nov 2017).

Manager: Cayetano Cornet, Juan Bertran and Alvaro Martinez

Nominated for work on: Pareturn Cartesio Equity and Pareturn Cartesio Income

In light of their stability, experience, and strong stewardship, we hold fund managers Cayetano Cornet, Juan Bertran and Alvaro Martinez in high regard. The three fund managers have worked together since the inception of the firm in 2004 and have on average more than 20 years of investment experience. We rate two strategies, a flexible and a defensive allocation strategy, that the managers run, both with the highest Morningstar Analyst Rating of Gold. The team’s experience and the well-executed and long-term oriented approach are key to the success of their funds. What also stands out is the exemplary alignment of the fund managers’ interests, who have invested almost all of their financial net worth in the funds they run, in addition to being partners in the firm. In addition, their long-term mindset and focus on downside risk and capital preservation are key features of their approach. Below average fees add to the funds’ appeal for investors. The consistent execution of the managers’ well thought out process has resulted in favourable returns for investors over different time frames with lower risk metrics.

Manager: Jean-Charles Mériaux and Philippe Champigneulle

Nominated for work on: Eurose and DNCA Invest Eurose

Jean-Charles Mériaux and Philippe Champigneulle are veteran investors with more than 20 years of investment experience on equities and fixed income, respectively. They have successfully steered the Silver-rated cautious allocation strategy Eurose since 2003 and 2009, respectively, with the help of a compact but effective team. We also appreciate their personal investments in the funds they run as evidence of their commitment alongside investors. The duo applies a straightforward process driven primarily by the assessment of relative valuation: they do not try to time the market but instead focus their efforts on comparing the risk-return characteristics of different instruments (common stock, convertibles, bonds) issued by the companies they know well. This approach has led them to favour equities over the past 5 years (up to a maximum of 35%) based on the perceived overvaluation of bonds relative to stocks. Security selection within the equity sleeve has also been very sound over time, with a focus on value and dividend paying stocks (Jean-Charles Mériaux applies the same process on the Silver-rated French Equity fund Centifolia). Over the duo’s watch, Eurose has regularly outperformed competitor funds while also limiting drawdowns in bear equity markets, thanks to diversifying exposure in its fixed income sleeve.

Om forfatteren

Muna Abu-Habsa  is a senior investment research analyst at Morningstar