It might not have the cache of an envelope from Price WaterhouseCoopers or the glamour of Kim Kardashian, but Morningstar is in the midst of its mutual fund nominee announcements for the 2012 Managers of the Year.
The Chicago-based research firm announced its Domestic-Stock Fund hopefuls on Thursday and the International-Stock Fund category on Friday. Morningstar will name its fixed-income nominees on Dec. 17, the alternatives nominees Dec. 18, and allocation nominees on Dec. 19. The winners will be announced in the first week of January.
In announcing the Domestic-Stock category, the firm said, “Each year we recognize a standout mutual fund manager of the year for domestic stocks, international stocks, and fixed income, and this year, we’re recognizing a standout allocation and alternatives fund manager as well.
“We’re seeking to acknowledge managers who have produced great long-term results for investors and who have been great stewards of investors’ capital, as well as those who have had an exceptional calendar year,” it added in explaining the selection process.
2012 Domestic-Stock Fund Nominees:
• Timothy Hartch and Michael Keller, BBH Core Select (BBTEX) – This large-blend fund is far from a household name, but it is “distinctive”, according to Morningstar senior fund analyst George Carlson.
“Managers Timothy Hartch and Michael Keller set this fund apart in several ways,” Carlson writes. ”They run a concentrated portfolio of roughly 30 stocks, ignore the sector and individual stock weightings of the fund’s S&P 500 benchmark, and focus heavily on downside protection.”
“Although he willingly pays up for rapid growers and will invest heavily at times in risky biotech firms, Wymer has lasted 16 years at this fund by exhibiting patience and conviction,” Carslon adds.
• Bill Frels, Mark Henneman, and Team from Mairs & Power Growth (MPGFX)-While Fidelity’s Steve Wymer is willing to stay put in stocks for a while, Carlson says Frels and Henneman are “positively tortoiselike.”