Morningstar Awards: Fund Manager of the Year

Managers of funds at Invesco, Comgest and HSBC have been celebrated by Morningstar analysts for safeholding shareholders' interests

Christopher J. Traulsen, CFA 19 March, 2015 | 8:00PM
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The winners of the sixth annual Morningstar European Fund Manager of the Year Awards were announced in Amsterdam on 19 March 2015. These awards draw upon the qualitative analysis of our manager research team to recognise the best fund managers. 

Each award winner has demonstrated excellent stewardship of their fund shareholders' capital over the long term, achieving best-in-class outcomes for investors. Our congratulations go to the winners. 

The 2015 winners are:   

Manager of the Year: European Equity

Michael Fraikin, Thorsten Paarman & Team

Invesco Pan European Structured Equity

Morningstar Analyst Rating: Silver

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 experience is key to our confidence. With their 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 2014 when it delivered top-decile returns, bolstered notably by good stock selection results across most selection criteria. 

Manager of the Year: Global Equity

Vincent Strauss & Wojciech Stanislawski

Comgest Growth Emerging Markets and Magellan

Morningstar Analyst Rating: Gold and Gold

Vincent Strauss and Wojciech Stanislawski are veteran emerging-markets investors, having managed emerging-markets equity portfolios at Comgest for more than 20 and 15 years, respectively. Strauss and Stanislawski have never departed from their stringent investment criteria. This has sometimes proved challenging, in particular during momentum-driven markets when their strategy is most likely to underperform. Over time, however, this has produced one of the most compelling risk/return trade-offs in the Morningstar Global Emerging Markets Equity Category. Last year was no exception; their funds landed comfortably in the top quartile as the strategy proved highly rewarding during the second half of the year when volatility surged. Strauss and Stanislawski are not only great investors, but they are also fantastic stewards of investors’ capital. As such, they have never hesitated, for instance, to discourage investors from entering their funds when they thought emerging markets were ahead of themselves. 

Manager of the Year: European Fixed-Income

Philippe Igigabel

HSBC GIF Euro High Yield Bond

Morningstar Analyst Rating: Silver 

Philippe Igigabel has an exceptional tenure at HBSC GIF Euro High Yield Bond, having served as the fund’s co-manager since 2000 before taking over as lead portfolio manager in 2003. He thus boasts one of the longest individual track records in the European high-yield space. Igigabel applies a high-conviction approach that is best illustrated by the fund’s overweight in subordinated financial issues, initiated in 2009. He stood behind this approach even in periods when it was out of favour, such as 2011, which enabled investors to fully reap the fund’s long-term benefits: over three-, five- and 10-year periods to the end of January 2015, the fund ranks in its category’s top quartile. In 2014, a difficult year for high-yield investors given the market sell-off during the third quarter, the fund outpaced 90 per cent of its competitors. In addition to his excellent long-term performance record, Igigabel demonstrates above-average stewardship through his personal investment in the fund, which strengthens the alignment of his interests with those of investors.

The information contained within is for educational and informational purposes ONLY. It is not intended nor should it be considered an invitation or inducement to buy or sell a security or securities noted within nor should it be viewed as a communication intended to persuade or incite you to buy or sell security or securities noted within. Any commentary provided is the opinion of the author and should not be considered a personalised recommendation. The information contained within should not be a person's sole basis for making an investment decision. Please contact your financial professional before making an investment decision.

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Securities Mentioned in Article

Security NamePriceChange (%)Morningstar
Comgest Growth Emerging Mkts USD Acc39.11 USD1.82Rating
HSBC GIF Euro High Yield Bond AC46.15 EUR0.64Rating
Invesco Sus Pan Eurp Stu Eq A Acc EUR21.88 EUR-0.31Rating

About Author

Christopher J. Traulsen, CFA  is director of fund research, Europe and Asia, Morningstar.