Who is the UK’s Top Fund Manager?

Updated : Oct 20, 2019 in Articles

Who is the UK’s Top Fund Manager?


Hello, and welcome to Morningstar’s 10th Annual
Awards for excellence in investing. I’m Emma Wall and joining me in London today is John
Clougherty of Fidelity, picking up the award for Outstanding Rising Talent for Nitin Bajaj.
John, unfortunately, Nitin is unable to join us this evening, but congratulations to Fidelity
on behalf of Nitin for winning Outstanding Rising Talent of the Year.
Well, I’m delighted at the age of 50 to be collecting a rising talent award. Typical
of Nitin, now he is out for searching companies around the world for his portfolio. So, he
is very rarely at one place very long and works incredibly hard. So, really well-deserved
award and delighted to collect it for him. On behalf of Fidelity, perhaps you can tell
from a top-down point of view, that is a company level, what identifies or makes Nitin stand
out as a fund manager? Clougherty: Well, it’s quite easy. If you’ve
met Nitin, unbridled enthusiasm and passion for what he does. I think passion is an overused
word. But if you see Nitin, and many of you will have done, whether you meet him in the
flesh or you see him on video, he is incredibly dedicated.
He really does travel a lot and he gets to understanding companies to a level of fanaticism
as well, I’d say. He literally doesn’t look at the index, picks his stocks and builds
the portfolio. So, we leave him alone to do what he does there isn’t house top-down
style in what Nitin does. Nitin runs his own fund and he has done a brilliant job.
I wouldn’t ask you to speak on his behalf, but I know you are familiar with his funds
and their portfolios. Where in particular is he excited about at the moment across that
broad Asia remit? I think with Nitin, he is excited about everywhere,
it’s just the range that changes. I think his investment remit is Asian small cap. So,
India and other emerging markets within Asia are where he finds the stocks. But he tends
to fall in love with stocks not countries. So, Nitin will go wherever he thinks the industry
is changing, wherever there is a dynamic that’s moving very fast and he can exploit that through
picking the winners through those sectors. So, he really is one of the managers that
has the least constraint in terms of country and he picks companies he falls in love with
and builds the portfolio. And it’s genuinely my single biggest holding in my own portfolio.
So, I’m delighted to collect the award for him.
John, thank you very much. Thank you very much. Cheers.
And picking up the award for Outstanding Talent is Man GLG’s Stephen Harker.
Stephen, congratulations on winning Outstanding Fund Manager of the Year here at the Morningstar
Awards. The judges praised your stock picking abilities. So, I’d like to ask, for you what
constitutes a good company, a good stock? Well, we’ve been doing the same thing. I’ve
been doing Japan for 33-and-a-third years, so it’s a good third of a century. And for
the last 30 years I’ve been doing basically the same thing over and over again which is
to buy stocks that everybody hates, that have underperformed a lot and are really cheap
and build the holding until we are reaching the level of discomfort and just keep holding
them until they go up and it sort of works. So, I just keep doing it and it’s the same
thing – I’m playing the same shot every time.
And at the moment, looking now, where do those good companies fall? What is looking undervalued
for you now? Oh, the market is split in two. There are
stocks that have won and stocks that have lost big time. And only probably the late
’90s have we got to similar situation to the one we have now. And there are some really
incredibly cheap pockets of value in the Japanese market, the financials, the steel companies,
the glass companies, and the utilities as well. So, I mean, it’s a very small restricted
area, but the value is just standing out like a beacon.
Stephen, thank you very much. Well, thank you.
And the third and final award for Outstanding Investment House goes to Troy Asset Management.
This is Emma Wall for Morningstar. Thank you for watching.

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