Who is the UK's Top Fund Manager?

The annual Morningstar awards for excellence in investing recognised Outstanding Talent, Outstanding Rising Talent and Outstanding Investment House of the year

Emma Wall 8 September, 2017 | 3:47PM
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Emma Wall: Hello, and welcome to Morningstar's 10th Annual Awards for excellence in investing. I'm Emma Wall and joining me in London today is John Clougherty of Fidelity, picking up the award for Outstanding Rising Talent for Nitin Bajaj.

John, unfortunately, Nitin is unable to join us this evening, but congratulations to Fidelity on behalf of Nitin for winning Outstanding Rising Talent of the Year.

John Clougherty: Well, I'm delighted at the age of 50 to be collecting a rising talent award. Typical of Nitin, now he is out for searching companies around the world for his portfolio. So, he is very rarely at one place very long and works incredibly hard. So, really well-deserved award and delighted to collect it for him.

Wall: On behalf of Fidelity, perhaps you can tell from a top-down point of view, that is a company level, what identifies or makes Nitin stand out as a fund manager?

Clougherty: Well, it's quite easy. If you've met Nitin, unbridled enthusiasm and passion for what he does. I think passion is an overused word. But if you see Nitin, and many of you will have done, whether you meet him in the flesh or you see him on video, he is incredibly dedicated.

He really does travel a lot and he gets to understanding companies to a level of fanaticism as well, I'd say. He literally doesn't look at the index, picks his stocks and builds the portfolio. So, we leave him alone to do what he does there isn’t house top-down style in what Nitin does. Nitin runs his own fund and he has done a brilliant job.

Wall: I wouldn't ask you to speak on his behalf, but I know you are familiar with his funds and their portfolios. Where in particular is he excited about at the moment across that broad Asia remit?

Clougherty: I think with Nitin, he is excited about everywhere, it's just the range that changes. I think his investment remit is Asian small cap. So, India and other emerging markets within Asia are where he finds the stocks. But he tends to fall in love with stocks not countries. So, Nitin will go wherever he thinks the industry is changing, wherever there is a dynamic that's moving very fast and he can exploit that through picking the winners through those sectors.

So, he really is one of the managers that has the least constraint in terms of country and he picks companies he falls in love with and builds the portfolio. And it's genuinely my single biggest holding in my own portfolio. So, I'm delighted to collect the award for him.

Wall: John, thank you very much.

Clougherty: Thank you very much. Cheers.

Wall: And picking up the award for Outstanding Talent is Man GLG's Stephen Harker.

Stephen, congratulations on winning Outstanding Fund Manager of the Year here at the Morningstar Awards. The judges praised your stock picking abilities. So, I'd like to ask, for you what constitutes a good company, a good stock?

Stephen Harker: Well, we've been doing the same thing. I've been doing Japan for 33-and-a-third years, so it's a good third of a century. And for the last 30 years I've been doing basically the same thing over and over again which is to buy stocks that everybody hates, that have underperformed a lot and are really cheap and build the holding until we are reaching the level of discomfort and just keep holding them until they go up and it sort of works. So, I just keep doing it and it's the same thing – I'm playing the same shot every time.

Wall: And at the moment, looking now, where do those good companies fall? What is looking undervalued for you now?

Harker: Oh, the market is split in two. There are stocks that have won and stocks that have lost big time. And only probably the late '90s have we got to similar situation to the one we have now. And there are some really incredibly cheap pockets of value in the Japanese market, the financials, the steel companies, the glass companies, and the utilities as well. So, I mean, it's a very small restricted area, but the value is just standing out like a beacon.

Wall: Stephen, thank you very much.

Harker: Well, thank you.

Wall: And the third and final award for Outstanding Investment House goes to Troy Asset Management. This is Emma Wall for Morningstar. Thank you for watching.

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
Fidelity Asian Values Ord506.00 GBX-1.17Rating
Man GLG Japan CoreAlpha Profl Acc C271.51 GBP-2.02Rating

About Author

Emma Wall  is former Senior International Editor for Morningstar

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