On Jan. 4, Morningstar presented its annual Fund Manager of the Year awards. The 2011 winners are ...
Domestic-Stock Fund Manager of the Year
Scott Satterwhite, James Kieffer, and George Sertl
International-Stock Fund Manager of the Year
William Browne, John Spears, Tom Shrager, and Bob Wyckoff
This fund and its management team stood out for limiting losses in a brutal year for international-stock investing. Tweedy, Browne Global Value lost 4.13% in 2011, which was roughly 800 basis points better than rival funds and the MSCI EAFE Index.
The fund’s biggest help came from heavy positions in tobacco and alcohol stocks, which had a standout year. The portfolio held sizable positions in Philip Morris PM and British American Tobacco BATS plus spirits-maker Diageo DGE, all of which were up double digits in 2011. But the real key to the fund’s resilience in 2011 was the portfolio’s distance from banks, the epicenter of Europe’s problems. The fund has one of the smallest bank weightings in its category, with a few non-European banks holding measured spots in its portfolio.
Fixed-Income Fund Manager of the Year
This fund focuses on buying emerging-markets bonds denominated in U.S. dollars, and 2011 was a good year for that mandate. But its stellar results owe much to manager John Carlson’s experience and deft management in what was a rocky environment for emerging markets.