Richard Jenkins is Morningstar's Foreign Equity Manager of the Year

Mawer, Capital Group managers make short list.

Christopher Davis 30 November, 2015 | 6:00PM

Note: This article is part of Morningstar's 2015 Global Equities Week special report.

We recognize managers' skill in navigating the international markets with the Morningstar Foreign Equity Manager of the Year Award. The award acknowledges strong returns over the past year, but short-term returns take a backseat to long-term fundamentals. After all, there's a lot of noise in short term numbers; a one-year hot streak is often the result of luck or extreme risk taking.

Our finalists faced a challenging backdrop in 2015. Europe coped with the prospect of a Greek default and exit from the European Union in the first half of the year, while a new quantitative easing program attempted to jumpstart moribund growth. Meanwhile, China's economic slowdown caused global jitters in the summer and deflated demand for commodities, hitting emerging markets around the world. Japanese stocks rallied sharply, but with active managers generally underweighting the country, many funds didn't enjoy the full benefit.

The managers below didn't make our shortlist by playing these political and macroeconomic trends well, though. Rather, all succeeded by with strong bottom-up stock picking. We unveiled our winner at the 21st annual Morningstar Awards on Nov. 25. Here are our finalists and our winner.

Finalist: Carl Kawaja, Dina Perry and Galen Hoskin, Capital Group

You'll rarely see Capital Group Global Equity finish as the top performer in the Global Equity category in any given year. That's by design. Kawaja, Perry and Hoskin split the portfolio into sleeves that are separately run in different investment styles and levels of concentration. (Capital International also assigns a group of analysts to a small portion of the portfolio.) With a mix of strategies at play, one part of the portfolio may zig while another zags, helping mute volatility. The virtues of this wide-ranging approach often are clearer in bumpy years like 2015. No one stock drives performance, but a number of big winners, such as  Amazon.com (AMZN), Nintendo (NTDOY) and Alimentation Couche-Tard (ATD.A), pushed the fund ahead of the competition. Consistent performance has added up over time, resulting in top-quartile returns over all trailing periods.

Finalist: Paul Moroz, Mawer Investment Management Ltd.

Moroz, a past winner in the category, made the shortlist in 2015 thanks to yet another year of brilliant returns for Mawer Global Small Cap. Like all his Mawer counterparts, Moroz seeks out highly profitable firms, tries to pay a reasonable price for them, and hangs on for the long haul. The seeds of his recent success were planted in prior years, with long-term holdings like Constellation Software (CSU) and NCC Group among his biggest winners in 2015. More importantly, his fund's long-term record shines. An added plus: Mawer closed Global Small Cap to institutional investments in 2015, helping preserve Moroz's flexibility.

Winner: Richard Jenkins, CI Investments Inc.

Thinking like a long-term business owner, manager Richard Jenkins looks for market leaders gaining share. He'll only invest when he believes he's developed a unique thesis not yet reflected in stock prices. In a relatively efficient market, not too many stocks will meet this description, and those that do won't be widely held in most global equity portfolios. This is true for Jenkins' CI Black Creek International Equity, which includes picks like brick maker Wienerberger and packaging producer Gerresheimer. The success of names like these led to terrific performance this year, and more importantly, over the long term.

Fund name YTD 1 Yr 3 Yr 5 Yr
Mawer Global Small Cap A 19.27 23.73 28.57 22.49
CI Black Creek International Equity A 11.35 10.36 19.25 12.26
Capital Group Global Equity-Canada A 7.58 10.84 18.15 13.21
Source: Morningstar. Data as of October 31, 2015

Securities Mentioned in Article

Security NamePriceChange (%)Morningstar Rating
Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc83.37 CAD-0.02
Amazon.com Inc1,816.86 USD1.36
Constellation Software Inc1,261.02 CAD0.48
Nintendo Co Ltd ADR47.15 USD0.21

About Author

Christopher Davis

Christopher Davis  Christopher Davis is Director of Manager Research at Morningstar Canada.