Vanguard Investments Australia Wins Morningstar Australian Fund Manager of the Year Award

Tim Murphy, CFA, CAIA Director of Manager Research  |   28th Apr 2022  |   5 min read

Morningstar Australasia Pty Limited, a subsidiary of Morningstar, Inc. (NASDAQ: MORN), a leading provider of independent investment research, today announced the winners of the Australian Morningstar Awards 2019. Vanguard Investments Australia received the top award as Morningstar’s Australian Fund Manager of the Year.

“All winners in the Morningstar Awards have demonstrated themselves to be good stewards of investors’ capital,” said Aman Ramrakha, Morningstar Director of Manager Research Ratings, Asia-Pacific. “Whilst turbulence returned to markets, all winners and finalists continued to add value over the year and also over the longer term. Australian investors continue to have worthy investment options across the active and passive spectrum with Vanguard Investments Australia being our stand-out for 2019.” The winners of the Australian Morningstar Awards 2019 are:

Australian Fund Manager of the Year 2019 – Vanguard Investments Australia
The recent passing of founder Jack Bogle was an opportunity to reflect on the investor first approach of the overall Australian Fund Manager of the Year winner. Vanguard continues to demonstrate the power of its low-cost simple approach to providing investment solutions to investors. In 2018 it excelled across a number of categories, cementing an impressive longer term record. Many of our winners have demonstrated that active managers can and continue to add value but with strong showings and a win across a number of categories Vanguard thoroughly deserves the overall award.


Fund Manager of the Year: Multisector Category, Australia 2019 – AustralianSuper
The high calibre team of over 200 at AustralianSuper has shown over numerous time periods and market environments to be very sound stewards of capital for one in 10 working Australians. The team has made some shrewd asset allocation decisions over the years, culminating in first quartile performance over multiple time periods, including 2018. The combination of smart and diligent team with a repeatable and time-tested process makes AustralianSuper highly deserving of the MultiSector category award.


Fund Manager of the Year: Fixed Interest Category, Australia 2019 – UBS Asset Management
UBS has performed with aplomb across its suite of fixed interest strategies for several years. This continued in the tricky conditions of 2018. Its investment capabilities surpassed most competitors, deftly navigating contrasting fortunes in the US and Australian bond markets and widening credit spreads. UBS’ reputable team has enviable tenure at its most senior ranks, and it’s shown through in consistently commendable results. The shop warrants acclaim for its fixed interest achievements.


Fund Manager of the Year: Domestic Equities-Large Cap Category, Australia 2019 – AllianceBernstein Australia
The swings in the domestic equities market in 2018 was a test which AB Managed Volatility passed with flying colours, making AllianceBernstein Australia a worthy winner of the Domestic Equities Large-Cap Category. The team led by CIO Roy Maslen utilises a quantitative approach to screen for stocks with favourable quality, value and price stability attributes, then skilfully applies fundamental overlay to identify event risk and value traps. The aim is to capture 80% of the benchmark’s return in up-markets, while protecting 50% on the downside. Since its inception in April 2014 to the end of January 2019 the strategy has delivered, with an upside capture ratio of 92.5%, versus a downside capture of 54%. The ability to keep broad pace with rising markets coupled with a focus on reducing downside volatility makes AB Managed Volatility an excellent strategy for the times.


Fund Manager of the Year: Domestic Equities-Small Cap Category, Australia 2019 – Fidelity International

Fidelity Future Leaders has won Domestic Equities-Small Cap Fund of the Year for the second consecutive year, which is testament to the disciplined investment process and well-considered portfolio construction methodology. However, ultimately, the strategy’s success has been highly dependent on the thoughtful portfolio manager, James Abela and his decision-making ability. Abela selects stocks for the portfolio based on the three pillars of viability, sustainability, and credibility, which have allowed him to avoid some of the major stock disasters and achieve some outstanding results against peers, in the past 5 years. Fidelity Future Leaders has the solid characteristics necessary to ensure investors are rewarded through the full economic cycle.


Fund Manager of the Year: International Equities Category, Australia 2019 – Magellan Asset Management
Magellan Asset Management has delivered an outstanding performance in 2018, a year in which volatility increased significantly for global equities. Via its leader, Hamish Douglas, Magellan executes its risk conscious style with conviction and consistency. It benefited handsomely from its long-term holdings and a flexible cash allocation during a period where the benchmark only just delivered a positive return. Magellan’s headline global strategy, however, was only just shy of a remarkable double-digit performance. This has not been a one off for the firm, Magellan have consistently delivered for investors over many years, another feature we value highly for this award.


Fund Manager of the Year: Property & Infrastructure Category, Australia 2019 – Vanguard Investments Australia
Vanguard continues to set a high standard. Its benchmarks have proved difficult hurdles for active managers to beat across the real assets sector, and 2018 was no exception. A well-executed approach, low cost, large scale and low portfolio turnover have delivered enviable outcomes for investors relative to peers over multiple time periods. It’s this consistent delivery across a range of products in listed property and infrastructure that gives Morningstar analysts a high degree of confidence that Vanguard will serve investors well over the long term.


Fund Manager of the Year: Undiscovered Manager Category, Australia 2019 – Barrow Hanley Global Equity
Dallas-based Barrow, Hanley, Mewhinney and Strauss is relatively unknown to Australian investors, but with a heritage dating back to 1979, we think this value-oriented firm warrants more attention. The Barrow Hanley Global Equity Trust, distributed in Australia by BNP Paribas, was launched in Australia in 2016, though it has a track record offshore dating back much further. Anyone looking for global equity exposure with a value tilt should consider what’s on offer here. A large and experienced team, plying a disciplined value process, first caught our eye in 2017, leading us to add it to Morningstar Prospects. It’s recent graduation to full coverage and a Morningstar Analyst™ rating of Bronze reflects our conviction that this is a global value manager we believe can outperform over the long term.

The Awards are copyright Morningstar. Fund managers may not publicise the Award(s) without the prior written consent of Morningstar.


Only fund managers with managed funds available for sale in Australia qualify for inclusion in the Australian Morningstar Awards.

Morningstar determines the winner based on a combination of qualitative research by its manager research analysts; risk-adjusted returns over medium- to long-term periods; and performance in the 2018 calendar year. Morningstar’s manager research analysts assess the track record for a fund based on Morningstar’s Risk-Adjusted Return measure over the one-, three-, and five-year periods. The objective is to screen for fund managers that have provided consistently strong returns, and not just reward those with the most impressive one-year return but have otherwise struggled to impress.

Morningstar’s manager research analysts then conduct a qualitative assessment of the fund managers under consideration. This incorporates the five pillars of the Morningstar Analyst Rating™ – people, process, parent, price, and performance. The qualitative assessment also captures practical issues that quantitative  screens cannot. After assessing the quantitative and qualitative outcomes for each fund manager, Morningstar’s analysts then debate and decide on the fund managers they believe are worthy winners and finalists across the various categories. If a verdict cannot be reached by a unanimous decision, then each analyst casts a vote to decide.


Determining the Morningstar Australian Fund Manager of the Year 2019
To receive the overall Morningstar Australian Fund Manager of the Year award, a fund manager must have offered funds in multiple award categories or delivered an outstanding outcome for investors. Fund managers were assessed not only on whether they were a finalist in more than one category, but on products that had peer-beating returns but did not obtain a top three position. Morningstar’s manager research analysts present the Morningstar Australian Fund Manager of the Year 2019 award to the fund manager that had strong returns across multiple categories and was deemed a good steward of investors’ capital. The Morningstar Australian Fund Manager of the Year 2019 therefore represents the Australian fund manager that, in Morningstar’s opinion, has achieved the highest level of funds management excellence.

For more information about Morningstar’s other global fund awards, visit

Originally posted 2019-03-06 13:05:49.

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