Standard & Poor’s and BusinessWeek announced the winners of its fourth annual Excellence in Fund Management Awards.
Eighteen mutual fund managers or management teams were recognized. Funds were evaluated according to wide ranging criteria, including management depth, experience and longevity, adherence to stated style objectives, the avoidance of excessive turnover, and an ability to produce consistent returns that justify operating expenses, among others. Funds must also have at least $100 million in assets and be open to new investors.
The award’s selection of fund styles and categories is not pre-determined; the committee “just wants to identify outstanding products,” said Phil Edwards, managing director of portfolio services at Standard & Poor’s. While Edwards stressed the importance of low expense ratios in enhancing returns to investors, some winners, like Legg Mason Equity Trust:Value/Prim (LMVTX), have higher than average costs. “Occasionally, we find a fund we think is worth paying up for,” he said. “As with any rule, there’s always an exception.”