Fund Manager of the Year Awards: Rising Talent

It's the Morningstar Fund Manager of the Year Awards 2021 and here is the winner of the Rising Talent Award

Holly Black 10 September, 2021 | 11:17AM
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Holly Black: Welcome to the Morningstar Fund Manager of the Year Awards 2021. I'm Holly Black. With me is Gordon Fraser from the BlackRock Emerging Markets Fund. Hello.

Gordon Fraser: Hi Holly, nice to be with you.

Black: Nice to see you, too. And Gordon, you've won our Rising Talent 2021 Award. Congratulations. 

Fraser: Thank you very much. That's fantastic news.

Black: So, what does it mean to you winning an award like this? 

Fraser: Well, I think, you know, recognition from anyone for the team is always greatly received. But when it's someone of the esteem of Morningstar, recognising the team's achievements, that's fantastic. So I think the whole teams is going to be really delighted about winning this award. And we really greatly appreciate it.

Black: And what would you say it takes to be a successful fund manager, particularly, in difficult times, as we've seen over the past year or so? 

Fraser: Yeah, so last year, I mean, the last 18 months, I guess, has been phenomenal road test for anyone's investment process. You've had really all the market environments you could dream of in a very compacted space of time. So I think really all fund managers have probably had to adapt a lot over the last year. And you know, what we've really found is that it's quite important to be flexible in your process, you want to have a very rigid process. But no one really bakes into the process that you'll get a global pandemic and total cessation of demand caused by governments. So be flexible, don't be afraid to kind of adapt as things come along. And really, that's how we tried to navigate the last year for our clients. 

Black: And, you know, being a fund manager difficult career to rise up through the ranks then, what are some of the biggest challenges you faced?

Fraser: So I think, really, for anybody, the biggest challenge is you enter this industry thinking, you know a lot, and the reality is you don't. And you can learn a lot from your colleagues, from the people around you. And working at BlackRock, I'm blessed to be surrounded by some of the best investors in the industry. So that's fantastic. But you have to be gracious enough to learn from markets and realise, you don't know it all and you will never know it all, and continuously learn from markets and adapt and evolve your investment process. I think that's really what we tried to do in our team. And when we have new joiners come in, that's the kind of advice that I try and share with them. 

Black: And lastly, what would you say is the best thing about being in your career?

Fraser: The best thing about emerging market fund managers career is the variety. We're looking at 25 different countries. We're getting access to the people that are running these countries often because these countries need capital. And so we can meet the Prime Ministers, Finance Ministers. I don't think most U.S. investors get the opportunity to meet with the President, for instance. So it's phenomenal access to really high-level decision makers, both in countries and in companies. And that just makes the job really varied and really fascinating. I think, that’s the best thing about the role. 

Black: Well, Gordon, congratulations again, and thank you for your time. For Morningstar I'm Holly Black.

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Holly Black  is Senior Editor, Morningstar.co.uk

 

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