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Six Top Candidates for International-Stock Manager of the Year

Three of the six leading candidates have won the award before.

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International-stock managers have experienced wild conditions thus far in 2009. Ongoing weakness in the global economy, trouble in the financials sector, and other problems took a heavy toll on overseas equities this winter, and the MSCI All-Country World Ex USA Index plunged 24% between Jan. 1 and March 9 of this year. But economic gains in many countries, progress in a variety of sectors, and other positive developments gave foreign stocks a big boost this spring and summer. That index surged 74% from March 10 though Sept. 24.

Now that 2009 is three fourths over, it's an opportune time to see how the race for Morningstar's International-Stock Manager of the Year is shaping up. It's important to point out that we look for managers who have demonstrated ability over the years, have also thrived this year, and have what it takes to continue to shine, not flashes in the pan or those who are otherwise lacking. We therefore demand that all candidates have impressive long-term records and employ strategies that enhance their likelihood of future success. We're also seeking managers who have made money for lots of people and whose interests are aligned with those of their investors, so we insist that all candidates run funds that have ample asset bases as well as solid or better stewardship.

A half dozen foreign-equity managers stand out in these regards and thus are leading candidates to be International-Stock Manager of the Year. To be clear, though, these six managers are not the official nominees (those will be named in December). One or more of these front-runners could falter down the home stretch of 2009 or encounter other problems and fail to make the list of nominees. Conversely, one or more seasoned and skilled skippers could propel themselves onto the list by finishing the year strong. That said, here are the six leading contenders at present.

William Samuel Rocco does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.