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FE Unveils the Alpha Managers Of 2019

By Corporate

Updated on Monday, 18 February, 2019

  • 54 new Alpha Managers -38 of which make the list for the first time
  • Blackrock tops the groups table

LONDON, 18 FEBRUARY 2019: There has been a big churn of talent in the 2019 FE Alpha Manager rebalance, with 54 managers joining the ranks and 52 losing their FE Alpha Manager title.

Once a year the FE Alpha Manager ratings honour the top 10 per cent of UK retail-facing managers based on their performance throughout their entire careers[1]. In total, 200 managers have scooped an FE Alpha Manager rating in 2019.

Of the 54 new entrants, 38[2] have never previously been awarded an FE Alpha Manager rating, such as Bryan Collins of Fidelity, Jack Barrat of Man GLG and JP Morgan Asset Management’s James Elliot.

Rob Gleeson, head of FE research, commented: “The FE Alpha Manager rating allows us to take a step back and remove short-term market movements or cyclical factors from the analysis. Given the market conditions of recent years, partly down to ongoing Brexit uncertainty, it is fundamental that fund managers can add value over the very long term and ride the challenges the market throws at them. The FE Alpha Manager ratings enable us to separate those managers that can and cannot do this.”

Top sector this year is IA Japanese Smaller Companies with the highest percentage of FE Alpha Managers (57%), knocking the winner of the last two years, IA Smaller Companies, down to second place with 47%. IA UK Index Linked Gilts scored just one FE Alpha Manager rating, while no managers from the IA Short Term Money Market, IA UK Direct Property and IA Volatility Managed sectors received a rating.[3]

Gleeson added: “The volatility in 2018 has had an impact on these figures, even with the long-term focus of the rating. It’s not surprising that sectors that typically have a high average active share have the most FE Alpha Managers, as there was opportunity for the right active strategy to do very well through this period.”

Top Groups

Blackrock has risen to the top of the groups this time around with 10 FE Alpha Managers, up from six a year ago. Group winners last year, Fidelity, drop to second place with nine FE Alpha Managers  ̶  down from 10. First State Investments, with eight FE Alpha Managers come in third place.

With seven FE Alpha Managers, Comgest Asset Management shares fourth place with M&G Investments. This is the first time Comgest’s managers have been eligible for a rating following their funds being made eligible for sale in the UK.

(List of the top 10 Groups by number of FE Alpha Managers)

2019-02-18 12_56_29-FE Alpha Managers 2019 press release FINAL - Word






New Entrants and Leavers

There are 54 new entrants this year and 52 managers that have lost their FE Alpha Manager status, with just over half (27) of these losing their rating due to non-investment related reasons, such as retirement.

Charles Younes, research manager at FE highlights that there has been a changing of the guard among UK Equity managers at this rebalance, with Ben Russon of Franklin Templeton Investments, Henry Lowson of Royal London, Martin Turner at Miton and Chris St John at AXA Investment Managers all departing the list. However, Man GLG’s Jack Barrat and Chris Field, James de Uphaugh and Matthew Smith of Majedie Asset Management’s UK Equity desk join the shortlist.

Younes said: “Several managers with a focus on smaller companies have lost their place. This is reflective of the underperformance of smaller companies compared to large caps since Brexit. Managers with a preference for smaller companies have been struggling to generate Alpha across the board.”

FE will announce its Hall of Fame Managers (those who have been awarded an FE Alpha Manager Rating for seven consecutive years) and the nominees for the FE Alpha Manager awards in May ahead of the FE Alpha Managers 2019 award ceremony on May 16. 

About the FE Alpha Manager Ratings

Each year FE recognises the top 10 per cent of UK retail-facing managers on their track records going back to 2000, with extra weighting for managers with the longest track records to highlight the benefits of experience. To determine the ratings, FE looks at a manager’s ability to create risk-adjusted alpha, outperformance in both rising and falling markets, and those who consistently beat their benchmarks.

For a full list of the FE Alpha Managers, please contact the FE press office.

[1] Track records going back to 2000, with extra weighting for managers with the longest track records to highlight the benefits of experience.

[2] For full list of first time FE Alpha Managers, see notes to editors

[3] See notes to editors list of top 10 sectors


Notes to Editors

The top 10 sectors by number of FE Alpha Managers is as follows:

2019-02-18 13_01_05-FE Alpha Managers 2019 press release FINAL - Word






New Alpha Managers, with those receiving the award for the first time in bold

2019-02-18 09_20_24-FE Alpha Managers 2019 press release FINAL - Word












  2019-02-18 12_59_41-FE Alpha Managers 2019 press release FINAL - Word









About FE

FE is a leading international provider of data and technology to the asset management and wealth management industries, with clients ranging from the world’s largest asset managers and banks to financial advisers and distributors. FE connects these groups to enable better informed investment decision making, providing data, documents, tools, research, ratings and model portfolios. In November 2018, FE joined forces with two fund data businesses based in Europe ꟷfundinfo (Switzerland) and F2C (Luxembourg).  This combination harnesses the complementary capabilities, reach and resource of each firm, increasing the breadth and depth of the client offering and positioning the firm for rapid international growth. FE employs c.600 people across UK, Switzerland, Luxembourg, India, Australia and other European and Asian centres.

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