Morningstar today announced winners of its 2006 Fund Manager of the Year awards.
O. Mason Hawkins and G. Staley Cates, managers of the $9.9 billion Longleaf Partners Fund, won the award for Domestic Stock Fund Manager of the year. Mr. Hawkins is chairman and CEO of Southeastern Asset Management, which manages the Longleaf fund family, and Mr. Cates is president. The Longleaf Partners Fund returned 21.1% for the year ended Dec. 31. "(Messrs.) Cates and Hawkins recognize that consistent calendar-year returns aren't the bottom line if your long-term trade-off of risk and reward is a good one," Christine Benz, Morningstar's director of mutual fund analysis, said in a news release. "These managers also clearly communicate to their shareholders and have protected their interests by closing both funds to prevent inflows from slowing them down."
David Herro was named International Stock Fund Manager of the Year. He manages the $7.7 billion Oakmark International Fund, which returned 30.6% for the 12 months ended Dec. 31, and the $1.3 billion International Small Cap Fund, which returned 34.9% for the same period. Mr. Herro, who is CIO for international equity at Harris Associates, Oakmark Funds' manager, has invested $1 million of his own money in the funds he manages, Morningstar noted. "We believe the firm has an investor-centric culture, displayed by its decision to close Oakmark International Small Cap before it grew unwieldly. (Mr.) Herro has been doing a good job for a long time. He isn't a one-hit wonder," Ms. Benz said in the release.
Jeffrey E. Gundlach won the Fixed-Income Manager of the Year award for management of the $537 million TCW Total Return Fund, which returned 4.78% for the year ended Sept. 30, the most recent data available. Mr. Gundlach, who is CIO of TCW Group, "has done a good job balancing plain mortgage-backed securities with unusual securities such as adjustable-rate mortgages and related derivatives. The fund has an outstanding long-term record," Ms. Benz said in the release.