Vanguard named Morningstar Australian Fund Manager of the Year 2017
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Vanguard Investments Australia took out top billing at Morningstar Australia's Fund Manager of the Year Awards, which were held in Sydney on Friday night.
"The winners in the Morningstar Awards show the quality and breadth of the investment options available to Australian investors," says Chris Douglas, Morningstar Australasia's director of manager research ratings, Asia-Pacific.
"Winning an award is testament to the fund manager's first-class stewardship of their investors' capital, and their ability to offer a consistently strongly-performing investment that enables investors to work towards reaching their financial goals."
The Morningstar Australia Fund Manager of the Year awards span the following eight categories:
• Australian Fund Manager of the Year--Vanguard Investments Australia
• Multisector Category, Australia--Schroders
• Fixed Interest Category, Australia--PIMCO Australia
• Domestic Equities: Large Caps Category, Australia--Schroders
• Domestic Equities: Small Caps Category, Australia--Investors Mutual
• International Equities Category, Australia--Generation Investment Management
• Property & Infrastructure Category, Australia--Zurich/Renaissance Property Securities
• Undiscovered Manager Category, Australia--BMO Pyrford Global Absolute Return
Only fund managers with managed funds available for sale in Australia qualify for inclusion in the Australian Morningstar Awards. In determining category winners and finalists, Morningstar only considers retail and wholesale unit trusts, superannuation funds, and pension funds that hold a Morningstar Analyst Rating.
Winners are selected using a combination of Morningstar's qualitative analyst research; risk-adjusted returns over medium- to long-term periods; and performance in the 2016 calendar year.
Morningstar's manager research analysts assess the track record of each fund over one-, three-, and five-year periods. Funds with less than a three-year track record are not included.
The objective is to screen for fund managers that have provided consistently strong returns, as opposed to those that may have delivered strong one-year returns without impressing over a longer timeframe.
Australian Fund Manager of the Year 2017
Vanguard Investments Australia took out the top award, and was also a finalist in multiple categories. According to the judges, the fund manager distinguished itself from other candidates through its consistency of performance across all sectors.
Its disciplined approach, low costs, and low portfolio turnover continue to deliver enviable outcomes for investors.
All but one of the 17 Vanguard funds Morningstar covers were in the top third of their peer group in 2016.
Fund Manager of the Year: Multisector Category
Schroders' multi-asset capability was recognised as the premier option for Australian investors.
Simon Doyle, head of Australian fixed income and multi-asset, and Simon Stevenson, co-portfolio manager and head of strategy, have steered Schroders balanced and real return strategies through a range of market conditions, and were well-placed to take advantage of the market rotation in 2016.
According to the judges, investors continue to benefit from this team's thorough research, shrewd insights, and consistent approach, all of which make it highly-deserving of this year's Multisector category award.
Fund Manager of the Year: Fixed Interest Category
Fixed-income fund manager PIMCO achieved excellent results across several different capabilities during 2016. Its performance was particularly impressive given the return of bond market volatility during the year.
With a highly-capable team providing sophisticated, insightful research within a robust process, Morningstar judges found these traits have underpinned sound decisions for many years, solidifying PIMCO's selection as this year's outstanding fixed interest manager.
Fund Manager of the Year: Domestic Equities--Large Caps Category
Schroders' Australian equities investment team, under Martin Conlon and Andrew Fleming, head and deputy head of Australian equities, respectively, achieved outstanding results in 2016.
According to the award judges, Morningstar analysts have confidence that investors will continue to benefit from the quality and consistency of Schroders' approach to Australian equities investing.
Fund Manager of the Year: Domestic Equities--Small Caps Category
Investors Mutual was distinguished through its value and quality discipline, skilful application of a sensible process, and savvy investment team--a combination which continues to offer Australian investors an excellent vehicle for investing in smaller companies.
Under the leadership of senior portfolio manager Simon Conn, the team has delivered consistently strong results in a variety of market conditions, and the award judges were again confident investors in the Investors Mutual Australian Smaller Companies fund will continue to benefit.
Fund Manager of the Year: International Equities Category
Generation Investment Management has built a solid track record over the past decade, under the leadership of co-chief investment officers Mark Ferguson and Miguel Nogales.
Their performance was particularly impressive given the challenging market environment, in which many active fund managers have struggled to deliver consistent value for investors.
In naming Generation winner of the award for Fund Manager of the Year: International Equities, judges singled out its genuinely long-term mindset, rigorous focus on sustainability, and tilts to technology and healthcare stocks.
Fund Manager of the Year: Property & Infrastructure Category
Zurich/Renaissance won the above award in recognition of its highly-experienced team and time-tested value approach to investing in Australian listed property stocks.
Carlos Cocaro, managing director, and Damien Barrack, director, adopt a genuinely active investment approach, taking sizeable departures from index weightings and investing in unloved stocks and turnaround stories.
According to the judges, despite weathering some bumps in the road, investors who embrace this fund for exposure to Australian listed property will continue to be well-rewarded.
Fund Manager of the Year: Undiscovered Manager Category
BMO Pyrford Global Absolute Return's multi-asset capability is led by a seasoned group of investors.
Launched in Australia in 2014, the portfolio of long-only equities and AA-rated or higher sovereign bonds has a 25-year track record of highly-creditable results for investors in the UK. According to the Morningstar awards judges, the fund is worthy of wider attention from Australian investors and financial advisers, with many likely to appreciate its conservative nature and downside protection.
Determining the Morningstar Australian Fund Manager of the Year 2017
To receive the overall Morningstar Australian Fund Manager of the Year award, a fund manager must have offered funds in multiple award categories or delivered an outstanding outcome for investors.
Fund managers were assessed not only on whether they were a finalist in more than one category, but on products that had peer-beating returns but did not obtain a top three position.
Morningstar's manager research analysts present the Morningstar Australian Fund Manager of the Year 2017 award to the fund manager that had strong returns across multiple categories and was deemed a good steward of investors' capital.
Determining the Undiscovered Manager Category Winner
This award recognises a fund manager that, while possessing strong investment management capabilities, has not yet achieved wide market recognition--and that Morningstar's analysts believe has the ability and opportunity to build a successful long-term track record.
The funds eligible for this award will not necessarily have a three-year track record. Finalists are determined from an assessment of their investment capabilities and quantitative data.
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