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Press release from PR Newswire

Morningstar Announces 2011 U.S. Fund Manager of the Year Award Winners

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Morningstar Announces 2011 U.S. Fund Manager of the Year Award Winners13:50 EST Wednesday, January 04, 2012Managers from Artisan, Tweedy, Browne, and Fidelity executed successful strategies to build on their solid long-term performance recordsCHICAGO, Jan. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Morningstar, Inc. (NASDAQ: MORN), a leading provider of independent investment research, today announced its 2011 U.S. Fund Manager of the Year award winners. The awards acknowledge managers who not only delivered impressive performance in 2011, but also excellent long-term risk-adjusted returns, and who have been good stewards of fund shareholders' capital. To recognize outstanding fund managers, each year Morningstar selects leaders in three asset classes?domestic stock, international stock, and fixed income. The 2011 Fund Manager of the Year winners in the United States are: Domestic-Stock Fund Manager of the Year:Scott Satterwhite, James Kieffer, and George Sertl, Artisan Mid Cap Value (ARTQX), Artisan Small Cap Value (ARTVX), and Artisan Value (ARTLX)International-Stock Fund Manager of the Year:William Browne, John Spears, Tom Shrager, and Bob Wyckoff, Tweedy, Browne Global Value (TBGVX)Fixed-Income Fund Manager of the Year:John Carlson, Fidelity New Markets Income (FNMIX)"2011 posed challenges for managers throughout the fund industry. The sluggishness of the U.S. market made it tough to carve out respectable returns, and macroeconomic problems plagued foreign markets. The bond market proved to be tricky, as few foresaw the Treasury bond market rally that dominated the year's performance charts," said Karen Dolan, director of mutual fund analysis for Morningstar. "Despite these conditions, our 2011 winning managers relied on experience and sound strategies to deliver impressive results to shareholders for the year as well as over the long term." Domestic-Stock Fund Manager of the Year: Scott Satterwhite, James Kieffer, and George Sertl, Artisan Mid Cap Value (ARTQX), Artisan Small Cap Value (ARTVX), and Artisan Value (ARTLX)Satterwhite and Kieffer were strong performers at Wachovia, where they began working together in the late 1980s. They moved to Artisan and launched Artisan Small Cap Value in 1997. Artisan Mid Cap Value followed in 2001 and Artisan Value in 2006, the same year that George Sertl became co-manager of the funds. "Consistency, patience, and balance have been the cornerstone of the Artisan team's management style. Satterwhite, Kieffer, and Sertl seek out strong cash generators with little debt and strong liquidity or stocks trading at steep discounts to their private-market values," Dolan said. "The management team has also distinguished itself as good stewards of shareholder capital in their decision to close Small Cap Value and Mid Cap Value before assets hindered their process. What's more, each manager has at least $1 million of his own money invested in at least one of the Artisan funds." The three funds have shined over the long haul and in a variety of markets. Artisan Small Cap Value and Artisan Mid Cap Value are in the top quartile for the trailing 10-year period, and each of the funds showed impressive versatility through the 2008 correction and ensuing rally. For 2011, Artisan Value has gained 5 percent and Artisan Mid Cap Value has gained 6 percent, placing them in the top 15 percent of their categories. While Artisan Small Cap Value is down 3 percent for the year, it still lands in the top half of the small-value category, which has had a tough year. And each fund's long-term record is superb.All three funds have received a Morningstar Analyst Rating?, which the company rolled out for approximately 350 U.S. funds in November. Artisan Mid Cap Value and Artisan Small Cap Value each earned a Gold rating, reserved for best-of-breed funds that have distinguished themselves across the five pillars of process, performance, people, parent, and price, and have garnered Morningstar analysts' highest level of conviction. Artisan Value earned a Silver rating. The Morningstar Analyst Rating is a qualitative, forward-looking evaluation of a fund's sustainable advantages versus peers and/or a relevant benchmark, and follows a five-tiered scale: Gold, Silver, Bronze, Neutral, or Negative.International-Stock Fund Manager of the Year: William Browne, John Spears, Tom Shrager, and Bob Wyckoff, Tweedy, Browne Global Value (TBGVX)William Browne and John Spears, who received Morningstar's International-Stock Fund Manager of the Year award in 2000 along with the late Chris Browne, were joined at the helm by Tom Shrager and Bob Wyckoff in the mid-2000s. Shrager and Wyckoff were long-time veterans of Tweedy, Browne before stepping up to co-manage the fund. "The Tweedy, Browne Global Value management team has been more quality-oriented than many bargain hunters of late, demanding that their picks have healthy balance sheets and strong franchises as well as cheap valuations. The fund typically has a high stake in consumer-related stocks," Dolan said. "The team moves at a measured pace, normally paying little attention to emerging-markets issues. While it had exposure in the past, Tweedy, Browne Global Value avoided some of the most dangerous financial services stocks?European banks?reflecting the sensible yet distinctive value discipline that led the fund past 95 percent of its foreign large-value rivals in 2011."The managers guided Tweedy, Browne Global Value to strong results in a variety of markets in the early 2000s and the 1990s. The fund, which holds a Morningstar Analyst Rating of Silver, boasts the category's best annualized return over the past 15 years, along with the category's lowest Morningstar risk score over the past 10 years. Fixed-Income Fund Manager of the Year: John Carlson, Fidelity New Markets Income (FNMIX)John Carlson has managed Fidelity New Markets Income since 1995, making him one of the most experienced and successful managers in the emerging-markets bond category. The fund focuses mainly on hard-currency debt, primarily issued in dollars, rather than bonds denominated in each country's local currency. "Carlson has weathered several emerging-markets crises while at the helm of Fidelity New Markets Income," Dolan said. "The fund is a bit of an outlier in a category with a growing number of local currency-focused portfolios, but Carlson has been emphatic about sticking with his discipline over the years. His adherence to his strategy paid off in 2011 after he rid the fund of its modest non-dollar exposure and cut its corporate credit risk."Carlson's decisions have proved right often enough to produce terrific results in 2011 and over the long term. The fund returned 7.9 percent in 2011 compared with the category average of 1.9 percent. Over the past decade, the fund gained an annualized 12 percent and outperformed its benchmark by roughly a percentage point per year. Established in 1988, the Morningstar Fund Manager of the Year award recognizes portfolio managers who demonstrate excellent investment skill and the courage to differ from the consensus to benefit investors. To qualify for the award, managers' funds must have not only posted impressive returns for the year, but the managers also must have a record of delivering outstanding long-term risk-adjusted performance and of aligning their interests with shareholders'. The Fund Manager of the Year award winners are chosen based on Morningstar's proprietary research and in-depth qualitative evaluation by its fund analysts.All year-end figures cited in this press release are preliminary and subject to change.For Morningstar's article about the winners, go to: http://www.morningstar.com/goto/fmoy2011.   For the complete list of past and current winners, go to: http://corporate.morningstar.com/FMOYhalloffame.  About Morningstar, Inc.Morningstar, Inc. is a leading provider of independent investment research in North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. The company offers an extensive line of products and services for individuals, financial advisors, and institutions. Morningstar provides data on approximately 330,000 investment offerings, including stocks, mutual funds, and similar vehicles, along with real-time global market data on more than 5 million equities, indexes, futures, options, commodities, and precious metals, in addition to foreign exchange and Treasury markets. Morningstar also offers investment management services through its registered investment advisor subsidiaries and has more than $167 billion in assets under advisement and management as of Sept. 30, 2011. The company has operations in 26 countries.©2012 Morningstar, Inc.  All Rights Reserved.MORN-CMedia Contact: Nadine Youssef, 312-696-6601 or nadine.youssef@morningstar.com                                          SOURCE Morningstar, Inc.