Morningstar Qualitative Manager of the Year Awards

Our new Pan-Europe qualitative awards help investors access our analysts' best insights.

Christopher J. Traulsen, CFA 9 February, 2010 | 11:14AM
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Morningstar brought its two-plus decades of qualitative fund research expertise to Europe in 2009, launching the Morningstar Qualitative Rating and Research Report in February. The guiding principle behind the effort is that investors deserve truly independent, high-quality research on funds. Since launch, we have produced roughly 900 ratings and reports in seven languages, and they have been viewed more than 1,000,000 times.

Now, based on that work, we’re set to issue our inaugural Qualitative Pan-Europe Manager of the Year Awards, driven purely by the insights of our team of more than 25 qualitative analysts. We are giving two awards that recognise the best fund managers in all of

Europe: European Equity Manager of the Year and Global Equity Manager of the Year. In addition, in the UK, we will also give our inaugural UK Equity Manager of the Year award.

While there are many quantitatively-driven awards in Europe, including our own, the sheer volume of them can be daunting to investors and professionals alike. We stand firmly behind our own quant awards and are proud of what they represent—they incorporate qualitative checks and long-term, risk-adjusted performance, and we think they’re an extremely valuable way to recognise those funds that have done the best for investors in the past.

That said, our new awards are designed to help investors cut through the clutter and quickly access the best forward-looking insights of our qualitative team. While nominees should have produced strong performance for investors in the last calendar year, in keeping with our approach to qualitative research, we place a great deal of emphasis on the overall merit of the offering using our five-pillars assessment. In addition to performance, we weigh the quality of management, the strength of the process used to run the fund, the quality of the parent organisation--including how it treats investors in its funds--and costs.

Our qualitative analysts nominated managers for each of the awards, and have debated their merits vigorously. It’s an especially difficult task in a year such as 2009, when strategies that emphasised lower-quality fare, but which may well not have much staying power, benefitted the most. Nevertheless we are confident that we’ve arrived at strong lists of nominees and two very deserving winners.

In the coming days, we’ll post the nominee short lists for each of the awards with our thoughts on why each manager deserved to be considered. The winners will be announced on 22 February. For fund investors in Europe, it’s a fantastic way to benefit from the cumulative expertise of our research team.

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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About Author

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