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By Alec Lucas | 01-26-2016 11:00 AM

American Funds: Looking at the World From the Bottom Up

A multimanager system focused on finding companies poised to benefit from changing global trade patterns has led to consistent outperformance for Morningstar's International-Stock Fund Manager of the Year.

Alec Lucas: Hi, I'm Alec Lucas, an analyst with Morningstar's manager-research team, and I'm joined today by David Polak of Capital Group, the parent to American Funds. He's here today to talk about American Funds New Perspective (ANWPX), which won the Morningstar International-Stock Fund Manager of the Year award for 2015.

David, congratulations to you and to the team of New Perspective.

David Polak: Thank you very much, Alec.

Lucas: So, Rob Lovelace and Jody Jonsson give leadership to the seven-person team, but each manager is free to invest according to his or her convictions. Could you briefly introduce us to each of the managers on the fund and talk about how the team works together?

Polak: Yes. The seven managers really bring different perspectives to the fund and its objectives. They are in different locations. We have two in San Francisco, two in Los Angeles, two in Asia, and one in Europe. They have different tenure and a different investment background that means that they look at the world differently.

Rob and Jody, you've mentioned, are both in Los Angeles. Brady Enright and Jonathan Knowles--one in San Francisco, one in Singapore. They also work on our SMALLCAP World Fund (SMCWX), and that's important because they see a lot of the emerging multinationals of the future coming out of that fund and some of those make their way into New Perspective. Steve Watson is in Hong Kong. He has a background in dividend investing, so he brings that perspective, even though the fund does not have an income objective. Then you have Isabelle de Wismes, a former banks analyst based in London. And then finally, Noriko Chen in San Francisco has an Asian background.

So, from those little brief portraits, you can see, hopefully, that they all have very different backgrounds, and they work in conjunction with the research analysts who are also investors in the fund. They are responsible for about one fifth of the assets, and their coverage is based on sectors.

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