Morningstar Awards

Come celebrate with us on November 26 as we recognize outstanding achievement in the fund industry.

Ashley Redmond 23 September, 2014 | 12:00PM Christopher Davis

 

 

Ashley Redmond: I'm Ashley Redmond for Morningstar.ca. It's a big year for the Morningstar Awards because we're celebrating our 20th anniversary. The awards are happening very soon. They are being held at November 26 at the Fairmont Royal York right here in Toronto.

Year after year attendees represent all of the major contributors to the Canadian investment industry. I'm here with Director of Fund Analysis and Chair of the Awards, Christopher Davis.

Thanks for joining me.

Christopher Davis: Thanks for having me Ashley.

Redmond: So Christopher, what's the goal with the awards?

Davis: Our goal is to recognize the best and the brightest in the Canadian fund industry. Yes, we're looking for managers who have done really well over the past year, but [we’re also looking for] managers that have done well over the long haul as well.

Redmond: And most of the awards are selected by analysts across the country, isn't that correct?

Davis: That's right. I mean a lot of people think there are only Morningstar Awards. And yes, Morningstar analysts do sit on juries that decide [many of the] winners. But we take some of the best fund analysts around and they get together and decide who they think have been exemplary performers over the past year and over the long haul.

Redmond: One question I know you got a lot last year was about criteria, so what's the criteria for being included?

Davis: Well, it sounds very simple. At its heart we look for funds that have at least three years' worth of performance and that are widely available. So, if a fund is only available through a really tiny distribution channel, we won't consider it. But really, we're looking for more than that. We want to see a long track record. We want to see manager stability. We want to see a sound process in place for these funds; otherwise they are just not going to be considered.

Redmond: And for those who haven't attended before, what are some examples of the awards that we give out?

Davis: Well I think there are around 40 awards. Sort of one for everything—almost like Oprah, there’s an award for you, for you and everybody gets an award.

No, it's actually not that easy. For example, we have the Best Canadian Equity Fund, Best Canadian Focused Fund and Best Opportunistic Hedge Fund. We cover the three main large groupings of investment funds: open end funds, pooled funds, as well as hedge funds. And of course ETFs, we can't leave them out.

Redmond: All of the awards that you just talked about are jury-selected awards and that means that analysts across the country pick them.

Davis: Yes.

Redmond: And of course we have the Morningstar Awards. So, that's six awards that our analysts pick.

Davis: Right. I guess that's where the confusion comes because there are Morningstar analysts on the jury awards, but the Morningstar Awards are all Morningstar analysts.

[For the Morningstar awards] my colleagues and I get together and we figure out who we think the best managers are. Again it's not just the best managers this year, but the managers that have proved themselves over the long haul as well.

Redmond: The Morningstar Awards are: Domestic Equity Fund Manager of the Year, Foreign Equity Fund Manager of the Year; Fixed-income Fund Manager of the Year, ETF Provider of the Year and Analysts' Choice Fund Company of the Year.

Davis: Right.

Redmond: Are you expecting any tight races out of those categories? Can you say anything yet?

Davis: We're not exactly PricewaterhouseCoopers, but we do like to keep things under wraps. We haven’t done our deliberations yet, but I think it will be a tough year.

Last year it was kind of clear [early on] because it was a poor year for the TSX and for markets everywhere, so the managers who did well really stood out. I think the competition this year is the market environment rather than other funds. So I think it will be a tight race. Fund company of the year; same thing, there have been quite a few fund companies that have stood out and distinguished themselves in ways that they didn't do last year, so I'm really excited to get the deliberations started.

Redmond: We have a returning host this year and he was a huge hit two years ago. Did you see Peter Mansbridge?

Davis: I did. It's almost like the voice of God, if God were a Canadian.

Redmond: Yes, he is amazing. So he is a returning second time host, and it is the CBC's Peter Mansbridge. Christopher, you've been at two awards now so you're basically a veteran at this point.

Davis: Yes.

Redmond: What are you most excited for?

Davis: Well, I think I'm most excited to see the best and brightest money managers out there being rewarded for making investors’ money and helping them meet their financial goals. It's also a really great time. There's an open bar, which I restrain myself from hitting until after the show because we don't need to embarrass ourselves publicly. [And it’s great because] everybody wears their very best – it's black tie. It's like the Oscars or Toronto International Film Festival for investment people.

Redmond: It definitely is the Oscars for the investment industry.

Davis: Yes.

Redmond: So we will see you November 26 at the Morningstar Awards.

Davis: Thank you.

About Author

Ashley Redmond

Ashley Redmond  Ashley Redmond is a Vancouver-based freelance writer.