Fund Manager of the Year Awards: Outstanding Fund Manager

It's the Morningstar Fund Manager of the Year Awards 2021. Here is the winner of Outstanding Fund Manager

Holly Black 10 September, 2021 | 10:08AM
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Holly Black: Welcome to the Morningstar Fund Manager of the Year Awards 2021. I'm Holly Black. With me is Austin Forey, he's manager of the JPMorgan Emerging Markets Fund. Hello.

Austin Forey: Hello Holly.

Black: You have won Best Fund Manager of the Year. So congratulations.

Forey: Well, that's very kind of you. Look, it's, everyone knows Morningstar, you're a big name in the global funds world. So to get this kind of recognition from you, especially, it's fantastic for us. And I think I should also say, and I know this sounds like cliche, but it's not me on my own. You know, there's a big team behind me, I've got some very smart colleagues, more than three dozen analysts, my co-manager on the trust John Citron and a lot of other fund managers. So really, it's for all of them and not just for me.

Black: So obviously, you've got a great team behind you. But what would you say it takes to be a successful fund manager?

Forey: Well, the team first of all. You know, emerging markets is a wide range, you know, we invest from Chile round to China, and that does need people and I think you need a process. That means you're all pointing in the same direction as far as investment thinking and decisions are concerned. And we've put a lot of effort into that in the last 20 years. I guess on a more personal note, I'd say that I've always thought that probably the most important thing as a fund manager is to know what you're trying to do. And that sounds kind almost too basic to be worth saying. But it's an industry where what you don't do is just as important, as what you do do and sometimes more so. And so being able to draw what Warren Buffett calls your circle of competence, you know, the things you feel comfortable doing the things that aren't really your thing. That's really important. And if you can get that in your mind, I think it makes the job a lot easier. And I guess it takes experience and better self-knowledge which comes with time.

Black: And you're an emerging market specialist. What is it you like about investing in that region? 

Forey: I mean, it's just interesting. Things change, you know, the world is changing faster in countries like India and China, I guess then is in the U.K. So you see businesses coming from nothing and becoming large, sometimes global players. And there's a very wide cultural range as well. You know, I mean, I get to meet people from all over the world. That's fantastic. It's just interesting and varied. And that's what you want as an investor. 

Black: So you are Best Fund Manager of the Year, what would your advice be to up and coming or aspiring fund managers be? 

Forey: I think the secret, one of the secrets is surviving through the bad times. And you know, when things are going well, it's easy and you feel like you can do it, but everyone underperforms at some point, everyone makes mistakes, and how you survive through those moments and the extent to which you let your decision making frameworks get bent out of shape. That's very decisive. So I think actually, it's the difficult times that you got to get through, because the good times are easy, but getting through the difficult times is a big secret.

Black: Austin, congratulations again.

Forey: Thank you. 

Black: And thanks for joining us.

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Holly Black  is Senior Editor,


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