Morningstar's Int'l Stock Manager of the Year

02/25/2016 10:00 am EST

Focus: FUNDS

The research team at Morningstar FundInvestor analyzes over a thousand fund managers and every year selects Morningstar Fund Managers of the Year. Here, analyst Gregg Wolper looks at International Stock Fund Manager of the Year Robert Lovelace and team.

American Funds New Perspective (ANWPX) is a world stock fund that is run by seven named managers located in the US, the UK, and Asia, each running a sleeve of the portfolio independently.

Two come from Capital Group subsidiary Capital International Investors, while the others work for another subsidiary, Capital World Investors.

The CII and CWI managers communicate within their respective teams and with their respective analyst groups, but they don't share investment ideas across subsidiaries.

That makes for a more diverse fund, as does the firm's practice of having each manager run a separate sleeve of the portfolio.

Robert Lovelace, the longest-tenured manager, oversees CII's side and the fund as a whole, while Joanna Jonsson oversees CWI's side.

Although Lovelace and Jonsson don't share investment ideas, they talk regularly to ensure that balance and diversification characterize each side's respective sub-portfolios and the entire fund.

Over the years, the fund has amassed an impressive record. Through the end of 2015, its three- and five-year rankings were in the 12th percentile of the world-stock Morningstar Category, and its ten-year return landed in the fourth percentile.

The fund also comfortably topped the returns of the relevant indexes in those stretches. What's more, its Morningstar Risk rating was below average (indicating that it had milder-than-average volatility) for all three periods. That's a powerful combination.

In 2015, the fund demonstrated its relative resilience once again. In the third quarter, when the MSCI All Country World Index dropped 9.5%, this fund held its loss to 6.5%, which was an important factor in why it landed in the category's top decile for the year.

A relatively small emerging-markets stake also limited the damage from those troubled regions.

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