Fund Manager of the Year Awards: Outstanding Fund Manager

Morningstar Fund Manager of the Year Awards 2020 continue with the announcement of the winner of Outstanding Fund Manager

Holly Black 14 October, 2020 | 10:04AM
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Jonathan Miller: Our awards for investing excellence are taking a slightly different format this year, as we're announcing the winners here on our website. The Outstanding Fund Manager Award goes to a person who's been at that firm for over 20 years, following a long term and distinctive approach to income investing. The focus on quality and valuation in that order are an edge. These have proved successful to navigate across a large variety of market conditions where strong stock picking skills have rewarded investors.

The winner is Clare Hart of JPMorgan, Manager of the JPM US Equity Income Fund.

Holly Black: I'm with JPMorgan's Clare Hart. She's just won Outstanding Fund Manager of the Year at Morningstar's Fund Manager of the Year awards. Congratulations.

Clare Hart: Thank you very much, thank you.

Black: Clare, what does winning this award mean to you?

Hart: Well, I am very grateful and and surprised and really honoured and I hope it means that investors are happy with what we're doing for them. You know our job, like my job, the job for my team is we show up every day in the market trying to make our investors as much money as possible with the mandate that we promised to pursue, so I'm very grateful.

Black: Clare, we don't dole out the word outstanding here at Morningstar all that often. What do you think it takes to be an outstanding investor?

Hart: I think to be an outstanding investor, it means to really think independently you have to be willing to have an approach to think about things in a way in the market and pursue it, even when the market disagrees with what you're doing. So, every single day you can show up in the market and can decide it wants to be in the (winners) or in a different geography. That it is in different industry. It's a different mandate, different style, but I feel like to be a really good investor. You need to not be swayed by noise and really pursue what you think is the right answer, and I think being at a place you know from like JPMorgan is an example. Having a lot of resources at your disposal to pursue that. You know having those things are really important too. I think, being a strong investor, but also being a strong investor where you can actually do something with it and deliver.

Black: So, Clare I'm really excited that you've won this award. I'm excited that a woman has picked up the accolade this year, because the investment industry perhaps isn't known for having a lot of female fund managers or females in senior positions. Do you think the situation is getting better?

Hart: I would agree with you, the industry is not known -- Morningstar has done a lot of work related to women or not -- sort of the dearth of women in the industry. I would just say from my perspective I'm lucky from where I sit at JPMorgan, we have lots of women in very senior roles. So, we have Marianne Lake, we have Mary Erdoes, we have Susan Bao who's a portfolio manager. She was recently in the FT. So, we have lots of women within JPMorgan, but I would say, I think it's definitely getting better. It's getting better and I'm happy to see that.

Black: What piece of advice would you give to a woman who is considering a career in fund management?

Hart: I think for a woman that's considering a career in fund management, the most -- I think the most salient advice is get in, just get in the industry, start. Don't let the noise from outside, and some of the negative things you hear about. Again, the dearth of women portfolio managers or the lack of women in Wall Street, all that sort of thing. Don't let that stop you from considering this as a career, because once you're in you will see if it suits you, you can make your own decision. I think, what I see is a great opportunity. You get to work with smart people all the time. It's a great career. It's fascinating and I think the most important thing is just get in and see for yourself. Any industry, there's negative things about. Unfortunately, women working in lots of different industries and the obstacles they face, but I think once you're in this industry investment management in particular, you would be pleasantly surprised. I mean you'd be short changing yourself if you didn't give yourself that chance and just get in, try it.

Black: Clare, thank you so much for your time and congratulations again. For Morningstar, I'm Holly black.

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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Holly Black  is Senior Editor,


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