There are some well-known names and some less familiar.
Earlier this month, we revealed our five nominees for 2006 Domestic-Stock Manager of the Year and explained why each one made the list. Here we'll follow suit with the five nominees for International-Stock Manager of the Year.
The previous column outlined the criteria involved in the selection process, so we won't restate all of it here. However, it's worth repeating the most important fact: While we require the nominees to be enjoying strong performance this year, our Manager of the Year honors are not a reward for just one year. Equally critical are the managers' long-term records and other factors such as a sound strategy and manager commitment toward the funds' shareholders.
The international list features fairly well-known names, including two former winners of the award, along with managers who are probably less familiar to readers. Three of the nominees were featured in August column that included a preliminary list of potential candidates. We should note that the managers who were cited in that column but who don't appear on this list didn't do anything wrong; we still consider them fine managers. For the record, a number of fine international managers didn't appear on either list this year. With so many worthy investors leading international funds these days, it's simply tough to make the final cut.
The combination of strong markets and strong currencies has propelled most international funds to high returns this year. Surprising as it might seem, a 20% gain isn't enough to land in the top half in any of the broad all-foreign categories.
With that background, here is the list of nominees for International-Stock Manager of the Year (in alphabetical order).
Hakan Castegren and Team
In recent years, he has shared duties with a compact group of talented and very experienced analysts who know the portfolio inside and out and who are as strongly committed as Castegren to the fund's flexible-value style. Flexible in this sense doesn't mean the strategy changes with the winds; rather, it means that long before value managers started talking up Microsoft
Hassan Elmasry and Team
Van Kampen Global Franchise