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Fund Spy

Analysts as Portfolio Managers

Viewing five prominent fund shops through the lens of their analyst-run funds.

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Plenty of funds are managed the traditional way, with generalist managers who tap the work of analysts but ultimately call the shots for their portfolios. In addition to that model, many fund companies also offer distinct portfolios managed by their analyst research staffs. These funds typically keep sector exposures constrained to an index and allow their sector specialists to pick stocks within their respective sleeves.

By allowing analysts to run a portfolio of cold hard cash, the firms explain, they're providing a place to park their best ideas, think like portfolio managers, and be held more accountable for their picks, all of which should help strengthen the research. In addition, the greater level of responsibility can help make a career-analyst role more appealing and also serve as a retention tool.

These funds offer a unique and interesting window into the inner workings of the asset manager. For this piece, we took a closer look at the analyst-run funds offered by five prominent fund companies to see what we could learn about the investment culture within the organization as well as the analysts' tendencies and abilities. We looked at the performance of these funds and the portfolio makeup. Here's a summary:

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Karen Dolan does not own shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.