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Morningstar Announces Fund Manager of the Year Winners

Morningstar has announced the winners in the Morningstar Fund Manager of the Year Awards 2008. This marks the 17th consecutive year we have presented these Awards.

Tuesday, March 3rd 2009, 8:52AM

AMP Capital Investors took out the top award as the Morningstar Fund Manager of the Year 2008.

"The past year once again illustrated vividly the risks in investment markets," Morningstar Head of Adviser & Research Anthony Serhan said. "While few fund managers were able to stem the tide of red ink, some were able to limit their losses, and thereby lay better foundations to help their investors get back into the black."

Morningstar uses both qualitative research and analysis of fund managers' risk-adjusted performance when determining the winners and finalists. The winner is the fund manager which maintained the highest overall level of funds management excellence during calendar 2008.

Morningstar Fund Manager of the Year 2008 – AMP Capital Investors
The Morningstar Fund Manager of the Year 2008 is AMP Capital Investors. It was hard to go past AMP Capital this year after the firm's strong showing across a number of asset classes. The shop took out the top prizes in fixed interest and multi-sector, was a finalist in the New Zealand equities category, and also won the inaugural KiwiSaver Fund Manager of the Year award. AMP Capital is one of the dominant players in the New Zealand funds management industry, and has been a runner-up for our overall award a number of times. The firm's done a great job for investors over the medium and long term, as well as during one of the worst years in memory, making AMP Capital thoroughly deserving of the overall Fund Manager of the Year award.

Morningstar Fund Manager of the Year Multisector 2008 – AMP Capital Investors
The Morningstar Fund Manager of the Year Multisector 2008 is AMP Capital Investors. It was a close call in this category, but top results in the balanced and moderate risk funds were the key reasons behind AMP Capital's taking out this award. The win for 2008 was largely on the back of an impressive showing in fixed interest, tactical asset allocation, and consistent performance over a number of years. Overweights to New Zealand bonds and New Zealand property also helped the strategy minimise the pain for investors in what were trying market conditions.

Morningstar Fund Manager of the Year Fixed Interest 2008 – AMP Capital Investors
The Morningstar Fund Manager of the Year Fixed Interest 2008 is AMP Capital Investors. The firm dominated this category and stood head and shoulders above the rest. Grant Hassell and his colleagues were able to take advantage of the rapid decline in interest rates and lock in a double-digit gain for 2008. AMP Capital proved its worthiness to win the award by demonstrating that a traditional fixed interest approach, managed prudently with a conservative ethos, really can fulfil investors' needs for a defensive investment.

Morningstar Fund Manager of the Year Domestic Equities 2008 – AllianceBernstein
The Morningstar Fund Manager of the Year Domestic Equities 2008 is AllianceBernstein. Long-time Portfolio Manager Andrew Bascand has done a great job for investors over many years. What impresses us most about AllianceBernstein's strong peer-relative result in 2008 is that it was achieved by being fully-invested in equities. This contrasts with most competitors, which were buffered by their high cash weightings. We're real admirers of this strategy, considering it one of the best options for Kiwi sharemarket investors. As markets recover, we expect AllianceBernstein to remain among the top performers, rewarding investors for their patience and loyalty.

Morningstar Fund Manager of the Year International Equities 2008 – ING
The Morningstar Fund Manager of the Year International Equities 2008 is ING. This is a high-calibre and wellstructured international shares strategy which benefits from drawing on high-quality submanagers Franklin Global Advisors, LSV, and MFS. Despite sharing in the market downturn in 2008, this strategy did less badly than most, and has added real value over the longer term. A great year from MFS and active currency management were key reasons for the peer-beating 2008. We expect more good things to come from this strategy. Morningstar KiwiSaver Fund Manager of the Year 2008 – AMP Limited

The Morningstar KiwiSaver Fund Manager of the Year 2008 is AMP Limited.
AMP delivered solid performance across all its KiwiSaver options. This award's not all about investment returns, although they are an important factor. The KiwiSaver award also takes into account the nature and breadth of a fund manager's product range, fee levels, quality of investor communications and educational materials, and website tools and content. A number of fund managers stacked up well in selected areas – Fisher Funds, for instance, in its commitment to providing regular, accessible updates and transparency in publication of underlying holdings. But in a close contest, AMP edged out its competitors when these characteristics were assessed across the board, the firm offering a wide product range, one of the most competitive fee levels, and solid returns to date. Long may this continue.

Morningstar Emerging Fund Manager of the Year 2008 – Milford Asset Management
The Morningstar Emerging Fund Manager of the Year 2008 is Milford Asset Management. While the firm's been operating for a number of years, Milford only began offering to retail investors in late 2007. The house has in a very short time established itself as a real challenger to the existing players, its Aggressive strategy outpacing all competition in 2008. The high cash weighting certainly helped, but Milford's more broadly-invested Peak strategy also finished well ahead of the majority of peers, demonstrating that Brian Gaynor and his colleagues have astute stockpicking nous. Milford has established its credentials and has shown sound potential to build a successful long-term track record through its performance and investment management capabilities.

 

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