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Nominees for Outstanding Portfolio Manager

A recognition of the very best managers in the industry.

Mathieu Caquineau, CFA 21.10.2019 | 15.44
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The nominations are in for the three Pan-European Morningstar Awards for Investing Excellence 2019: Outstanding Portfolio Manager, Rising Talent, and Outstanding Investment House. The winners of these awards are nominated and selected by Morningstar’s Europe-based team of manager research analysts. The winners will be announced at the Morningstar Investment Conference in Paris on Nov. 14, 2019.

Morningstar analysts nominated three candidates across asset classes for the Outstanding Portfolio Manager award. To be eligible for this award, nominees must currently run an investment strategy with a Morningstar Analyst rating of Bronze, Silver, or Gold. In addition to delivering exceptional long-term investment results, these three nominees have demonstrated exemplary investment skill, alignment of interests with investors, and the courage to differ from the consensus.

Given the open nature of the European market, fund managers based in all regions of the world were eligible as long as the funds they manage are available for sale in at least two European countries.

Below we highlight each nominee in more detail.

Laurent Dobler 

Laurent Dobler joined the Paris-based boutique Comgest in 1991. He is a talented investor and analyst who has helped shape Comgest’s robust and disciplined quality growth approach in the past three decades. Funds are managed collectively at Comgest, but Dobler has the longest tenure in the European equity team. He has managed the France-domiciled Renaissance Europe fund since 1993 and its Ireland-domiciled version, Comgest Growth Europe, since inception in 2000. As such, he has been a key contributor to the strategy’s impressive results, both on an absolute and risk-adjusted basis. Both funds currently carry a Morningstar Analyst Rating of Gold.

Beyond his analytical and portfolio management skills that have benefitted investors, Dobler has also been involved in recruiting, training, and coaching the next generation of portfolio managers at Comgest. Lastly, he invests a meaningful portion of his personal portfolio in the strategy, more proof of his unwavering commitment to acting as a responsible steward of investors’ capital.

Philippe Igigabel



Philippe Igigabel has two decades of investment experience. He began his portfolio management career as a co-portfolio manager on HSBC GIF Euro High Yield Bond in 2000, before becoming its lead portfolio manager in 2003. Having covered the European high-yield space since its infancy in the late 1990s, he is one of the most seasoned portfolio managers we cover in this space. HSBC GIF Euro High Yield carries a Morningstar Analyst Rating of Gold.

Over his tenure, Igigabel hasn’t wavered from his high-conviction, valuation-driven approach. For example, he hasn’t hesitated to reduce risk gradually in periods he believed to be characterized by market excesses (such as in 2017). Conversely, he has systematically taken advantage of market dips (such as over the course of 2018) to stock up on the names he believed to be fundamentally sound. Igigabel’s selectivity is also a hallmark of his approach. Only 10% to 30% of high-yield bonds issued every year typically fit his stringent quality criteria and are deemed to be good value.

Thanks to this disciplined process, the fund has delivered an outstanding track record, ranking in the top quartile of its peers over 10 and 15 years (through September 2019) both on an absolute and risk-adjusted basis. It has also largely avoided defaults, which is a testament to the quality of the underlying security selection and the fundamental analysis carried out by HSBC GAM’s strong team of European credit analysts.

Michael Krautzberger


Michael Krautzberger is one of the most experienced portfolio managers in the Euro fixed-income area. He has managed the Gold-rated BGF Euro Bond fund since October 2005, and he is also lead portfolio manager of BGF Euro Short Duration (Silver-rated) and BSF Fixed Income Strategies (Bronze-rated). Krautzberger currently also heads BlackRock’s 14-member Euro Fixed Income team, which includes 10 portfolio managers.

Over the years, Krautzberger has proved his expertise in combining his team's views and ideas with inputs from BlackRock's wider resources into portfolios that add value in a consistent and incremental manner by utilising a broad range of primarily relative value strategies.

The very collegial and team-based approach that Krautzberger has implemented over the years has led to an impressive track record at BGF Euro Bond fund, as it has consistently outperformed its peers and its benchmark on an absolute and risk-adjusted basis. Practically the entire range of underlying strategies employed in Krautzberger’s portfolios, including government, securitised, inflation-linked bonds, currencies, and duration and yield-curve plays, have contributed to performance. The diversified return profile of his portfolios highlights his ability to blend the team’s best ideas into coherent portfolios as well as the quality of ideas generated by his team.  

Morningstar analysts Mathieu Caquineau, Mara Dobrescu, and Evangelia Gkeka contributed to this column.

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Om forfatteren

Mathieu Caquineau, CFA

Mathieu Caquineau, CFA  Senior Fund Analyst, Morningstar France

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