Thirteen prestigious FE Alpha Manager Awards were presented on Thursday 11 May at The Tate Modern, as over 300 members of the industry came together to celebrate the top talent in asset management.
Alex Wright of Fidelity was named the overall FE Alpha Manager of the Year and Insight Investment’s Colm McDonagh scooped the title of FE Best New Alpha Manager. M&G’s Richard Woolnough, Schroders’ Jenny Jones, Jenna Barnard of Henderson and Ben Leyland from JO Hambro were among the managers to pick up prestigious Alpha Manager awards in other categories this year.
“The FE Alpha Manager awards are a celebration of the industry’s top rated fund managers” says Michael Holland, managing director at FE. “The FE Alpha Manager ratings recognise a manager’s ability to create risk-adjusted alpha, outperformance in both rising and falling markets and those who consistently beat their sector peers.”
Charles Younes, research manager at FE, comments: “This year’s award winners have combined consistent performance throughout their career with phenomenal outperformance over the past year in their respective categories. This is an incredible achievement in the face of unpredictable markets and unexpected political events such as Britain’s vote to leave the EU and the election of Trump to US president.”
The winners are determined by narrowing down the FE Alpha-rated Managers ratings to a list of the highest-scoring managers. “Once we had a refined list, we used qualitative analysis to pick the brightest stars”, Charles Younes explains.
FE Alpha Manager of the Year was awarded to Alex Wright of Fidelity, who manages the Special Situation and Special Values PLC funds as well as co-managing the UK Smaller Companies fund. According to FE Analytics, Alex Wright has returned an impressive 398% per cent over his career.
BNY Mellon’s Colm McDonagh, who manages the Absolute Insight Emerging Market Debt and Emerging Markets Corporate Debt funds, took the title of Best New Alpha Manager. Colm has returned 79% over his career, data from FE Analytics shows.
In the run-up to the event, attendees were asked what the biggest barrier to active managers outperforming in the year ahead will be. The most common answers were geo-political instability 29.17%, poor investment decisions by managers 25% and high valuations 21%.*
Charles Younes comments: "Political uncertainty and market rotations affected the performance of many active managers last year. The result of our poll suggests the industry thinks these factors may continue to have a negative impact, but to a lesser extent. On the contrary, the indication that poor investment decisions could be the biggest barrier to alpha shows that they believe managers will be more responsible for their destiny this year. Clients might be less patient on investors blaming the market environment for poor performance."
The Winners and their categories: