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Tuesday, November 23, 1999

Money Managers of the Century

Reported by Hayley Green

Of course, it's just a survey and the results really mean very little in any absolute sense, but the results are telling. The memory of the financial world is quite short, as a survey released on Monday by The Carson Group proved.

The world of financial services has changed dramatically in the last two decades and many of the movers and shakers from that period show up on the survey's list, but one is hard pressed to find more than a handful from any decade previous, and they're mostly low on the list.

The New York-based consulting firm, released the results of its Top Money Managers of the 20th Century survey with Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway and Peter Lynch of Fidelity topping out the list with the number one and two spots respectively.

Other managers names rounding out the top five were: John Templeton of Templeton Investment Counsel, Graham & Dodd of Security Analysis and George Soros of Soros Fund Management.

The survey, which consisted of 27 candidates and a write-in vote, was sent to 7,000 money managers mostly on the buy side. Of those 7,000 surveys 302 were returned, Rick Anderson, managing director of The Carson Group said.

"Over this past century, institutional money managers have played a pivotal role in underwriting the explosive growth of the global economy, which has been primarily responsible for funding the tremendous scientific and technological achievements that we enjoy today," said David Geliebter, chairman of The Carson Group.

The results of the survey begs several questions -- what makes a money manager important, the simple numbers of their returns or their overall impact on society? Furthermore all the known candidates surveyed are contemporary money managers.

What happened to the Europeans? The nominations seem to have been a tad US-centric. Or those who made themselves and their clients fortunes in the early part of the century? Some suggestions that came to mind are: John Pierpont Morgan (a.k.a. JP Morgan, born in England) started one of the most powerful banking houses in the world.

Edward Harriman, founder of Brown Brothers Harriman was known for his ruthless business tactics which netted him a financial empire which included banks, insurance companies, and a steamship line and gained him the reputation of one of the worst of the "robber barons."

And when it comes to contemporary figures, where's everyone and their brother's discount broker, Charles Schwab? Schwab worked as a mutual funds manager before establishing his own brokerage house in San Francisco in 1971. He built it into one of the nation's largest and most innovative brokerages by offering deep discounts, online trading and other inducements to small investors.

One of the main surprises of the results, according to Anderson is that value investors came out quite high. "It is also interesting that when asked about top managers, Buffet is not a money manager and neither Graham & Dodd."

"Out of the top ten only three are active managers," Anderson said. "This tells you that people are ranking by history not momentum."

Carson Group's Money Managers of the Century Poll

302 Total Qualified Respondents

NAME

VOTES

RANK

PERCENTAGE

Warren Buffett

261

1st

86.4%

Peter Lynch

244

2nd

80.8%

John Templeton

201

3rd

66.6%

Graham & Dodd

190

4th

62.9%

George Soros

176

5th

58.3%

John Neff

156

6th

51.7%

John Bogle

155

7th

51.3%

Michael Price

116

8th

38.4%

Julian Robertson

96

9th

31.8%

Mark Mobius

85

10th

28.1%

Mario Gabelli

80

11th

26.5%

James Craig

79

13th (Tie)

26.2%

Roy Neuberger

79

13th (Tie)

26.2%

Zalman Bernstein

78

14th

25.8%

George Putnam

76

15th

25.2%

Gary Brinson

63

16th

20.9%

Fayez Sarofim

59

17th

19.5%

Helen Y. Hayes

58

18th

19.2%

Gordon Crawford

49

19th

16.2%

Ralph Wanger

44

20th

14.6%

Beth Terrana

41

21st

13.6%

Michael Steinhardt

38

22nd

12.6%

James Stowers Jr.

37

23rd

12.3%

Seth Glickenhaus

33

24th

10.9%

James Barrow

32

25th

10.6%

Kenneth Heebner

30

26th

9.9%

Foster Friess

26

27th

8.6%

 

 

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