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Wednesday, January 4, 2006

Davis Selected Takes 2005 Morningstar Honors

by: Armie Margaret Lee

Morningstar has named its domestic equity fund managers of the year for 2005. The winners are Chris Davis and Ken Feinberg of Davis Selected Advisers.

"Even though interest rates rose steadily in 2005, this teamís superb stock-picking ability helped their financials-heavy portfolio buck conventional wisdom and trump the S&P 500 Index by 5 percent," the investment research firm said in a statement.

The Chicago-based firm hailed the duo for focusing on "producing long-term results for shareholders," as well as for lowering fees.

It named Robert Lyon, Matthew Pickering and Jerrold Senser of the ICAP International Fund as its choice for Fund Manager of the Year in international stocks, applauding the fundís transition from a Europe-only portfolio to a diversified international fund in May last year which resulted in a 19 percent return.

"This has not been the only wise move by Lyon and his team," Morningstar said. "They keep fees low Ė to just 0.80 percent, even though many fund companies charge higher foreign fund management fees simply because they can."

Meanwhile, Morningstar gave the Fixed Income Manager of the Year award to Tad Rivelle, Laird Landmann, Stephen Kane and David Lippman of The Metropolitan West Total Return Bond for generating a 3-percent return, besting 95 percent of similar funds.

The fund achieved this due in part to its exposure in the high-yield, bank-loan and other specialty areas of the bond market, Morningstar noted.

"The management teamís value approach can lead it to unloved areas of the bond market, which helps the fund perform well in a variety of market environments," it said. 

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