Top 14 Fund Managers of 2015: Morningstar

Winners will be picked in five categories, with no one firm dominating the list of nominees

Winners must be able to demonstrate long-term, risk-adjusted outperformance. Winners must be able to demonstrate long-term, risk-adjusted outperformance.

Forget Hollywood. The fund industry’s Golden Globes will be presented later this month, when Morningstar announces the fund managers of the year.

On Monday, Morningstar revealed the nominees in five categories: domestic stock, international stock, fixed income, allocation and alternatives.  

“Throughout 2015, domestic-stock funds wavered in light of depressed energy prices and the anticipation of rising interest rates. International-stock funds faced headwinds including weakness in commodities, as well as parts of the global economy, and bond funds saw particularly weak results and a fair amount of volatility,” said Jon Hale, Morningstar’s director of manager research for North America, in a statement.

“Despite these difficulties, our Fund Manager of the Year nominees stood out with superior performance during 2015, continuing in each case to build on their successful long-term records,” Hale explained.

According to Chicago-based fund research, the nominees are “not one-hit wonders.” In fact, this year’s list includes several repeat nominees and winners, and all finalists “have long-term records that are just as impressive as their 2015 results.”

“Morningstar's Fund Manager of the Year awards have always tried to recognize managers who not only post strong trailing-year returns but also have recent achievements that point to enduring processes and strong prospects for sound long-term performance,” explained equities analyst Alec Lucas, in an online article posted Monday.

When looking at the candidates, Morningstar analysts review the managers' most prominent funds and others they have run. The funds must have Morningstar Analyst Ratings of Gold, Silver or Bronze.

Recent activity in the U.S. equity market, which entered a correction in the third quarter of 2015, has affected fund results.

Low oil prices generally have helped consumer stocks, and this sector finished second to health care equities in 2015. Tech names also fared well.

“The market environment favored funds in the large-growth Morningstar Category, especially those with exposure to Netflix and Alphabet, which both posted triple-digit calendar-year gains,” Lucas said.

All four of the 2015 U.S. stock nominees are growth funds, while only one is a large-cap offering.

Read on for a look at the fund managers named in each category. Winners will be named Jan. 26.

T. Rowe Price Sign

Domestic-Stock Fund Manager of the Year

• Keith Lee, Robert Hall, Kempton Ingersol, Damien Davis and Andrew Fones, Brown Capital Management Small Company (BCSIX)

• William Bell IV, W. Matthew Hereford and Charles Reed, Eaton Vance Atlanta Capital SMID-Cap (EAASX)

• Spiros ‘Sig’ Segalas, Michael Del Balso and Kathleen McCarragher, Harbor Capital Appreciation (HACAX) & Prudential Jennison Growth (PJFAX)

• Brian Berghuis, T. Rowe Price Mid-Cap Growth (RPMGX)

International-Stock Fund Manager of the Year:

• Robert Lovelace and team, American Funds New Perspective (ANWPX)

• Rajeev Bhaman, Oppenheimer Global (OPPAX

• George Evans and Robert Dunphy, Oppenheimer International Growth (OIGYX)

Fixed-Income Fund Manager of the Year:

• Jerome Schneider and team, PIMCO Short-Term (PTSHX)

• Ken Leech, Carl Eichstaedt, Mark Lindbloom, Michael Buchanan and team, Western Asset Core Bond (WATFX) & Western Asset Core Plus Bond (WACPX)

Vanguard Sign (Photo: AP) 

Allocation Fund Manager of the Year:

• David Giroux, T. Rowe Price Capital Appreciation (PRWCX)

• John Keogh and Michael Reckmeyer, Vanguard Wellesley Income (VWINX)

John Hancock Tower in Boston. (Photo: AP)

Alternatives Fund Manager of the Year:

• Jay Feeney and Eric Connerly, Boston Partners Long/Short Research (BPIRX)

• Guy Stern, John Hancock Global Absolute Return Strategies (JHAIX)

• James Troyer, Michael Roach and James Stetler, Vanguard Market Neutral (VMNIX)

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