Top 15 equity mutual fund managers in 2018

The stock market has put investors through the emotional wringer in recent times: Rapidly shifting preferences from one market segment to another, periods of sudden volatility and deterioration in macros even as micros improved. Keeping a steady head in such a situation seems a tough ask, but some of the most astute fund managers have proved their mettle while dealing with such situations and have delivered consistent returns over the years.

Once again, ET Wealth teamed up with Morningstar India to rank the country’s best equity fund managers, across categories, based on their five-year risk-adjusted returns.

Avoiding mistakes has been the common thread that binds the top fund managers. “Portfolio returns are as much driven by stocks that are avoided, as they are by the stocks one invests in,” contends Harsha Upadhyaya, CIO, Equity, Kotak Mutual Fund. Fund managers remain focused on corporate earnings trajectory.

Sailesh Raj Bhan, Deputy CIO, Equity Investment, Reliance Mutual Fund, reckons that despite the weakening macros, the micro data is encouraging and earnings recovery is likely in the next 1-3 years. While consumption remains the overarching play most fund managers continue to bet on, this time a new theme—disruption— is also drawing their attention. “Every disruption alters the competitive landscape and tilts the balance disproportionately in favour of the disrupters,” says Upadhyaya.

Read on to find out who the country’s best fund managers are and the thought process behind their success.

Managers with the Midas touch

Large cap

1. Neelesh Surana, Mirae Asset Mutual Fund

2. Harsha Upadhyaya, Kotak Mahindra Mutual Fund

3. Sohini Andani, SBI Mutual Fund

4. Sailesh Raj Bhan, Reliance Mutual Fund

5. Mahesh Patil, Aditya Birla Sun Life Mutual Fund

Also read more about each of these managers, their top stock and sector picks and what they think is the promising theme for the next few years.

Multi cap

1. Jinesh Gopani, Axis Mutual Fund

2. Dhimant Shah, Principal Mutual Fund

3. Rajeev Thakkar, PPFAS Mutual Fund

4. Ajay Garg, Aditya Birla Sun Life Mutual Fund

5. Mrinal Singh, ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund

Also read more about each of these managers, their top stock and sector picks and what they think is the promising theme for the next few years.

Small and Mid Cap

1. Neelesh Surana, Mirae Asset Mutual Fund

2. S.N. Lahiri, L&T Mutual Fund

3. Ravi Gopalakrishnan*,Canara Robeco Mutual Fund

4. Anoop Bhaskar**, IDFC Mutual Fund

5. R. Janakiraman, Franklin Templeton Mutual Fund

Rankings are based on earlier fund categorisations.
*Ravi Gopalakrishnan has left Canara Robeco.
** Anoop Bhaskar switched from UTI MF to IDFC MF.

Also read more about each of these managers, their top stock and sector picks and what they think is the promising theme for the next few years.

The best fund managers in 2018


*left the found house in May 2018; ^switched from UTI MF to IDFC MF during period under consideration. Data considers performance during both stints; Note: The ranking is based on risk-adjusted returns so some managers with a higher asset weighted returns may be ranked lower than others; The study pertains to the period between 1 July 2013 and 30 June 2018.

How we ranked the managers

Universe of funds

Our study was restricted to open-ended, actively managed, diversified equity funds segregated into three distinct categories— large-cap, multi-cap (including ELSS), and mid- and small-cap—according to Morningstar India’s classification prior to June 2018. Schemes with a corpus of at least `200 crore were considered. Index, thematic, sector and balanced funds were not considered.

Time period

Study is based on the funds’ performance between 1 July 2013 and 30 June 2018.

Experience, AUM managed

Only managers who helmed funds throughout the five-year period under study were considered, with the exception of a maximum four-month gap between two stints. The track record only for the completed months was considered for analysis. For a fund to qualify, the fund manager needed a minimum twoyear track record with the fund as lead manager. The study was restricted to fund managers cumulatively managing an AUM of at least Rs 500 crore, across all qualifying funds.

Risk and returns

After short-listing the fund managers, the aggregate returns generated by each fund manager were calculated over the five-year period for all the funds managed by him/her that met the qualifying criteria.

The returns were then adjusted for risk to account for the degree of risk taken by the fund manager to generate the return. To get the risk-adjusted score, the assetweighted monthly returns of all the funds satisfying the above-mentioned criteria were calculated. Weighing scheme performance by its corpus size helps give due importance to the size of each fund.

Then, the annualised geometric mean for the five-year period was calculated to arrive at the annualised five-year returns. Further, the annualised standard deviation of the monthly asset-weighted returns was calculated.

The final risk-adjusted return was calculated by deducting the risk-free return—three-month FBIL MIBOR (Mumbai Interbank Offer Rate) return— from the annualised geometric returns generated by each fund manager, and dividing these by the respective standard deviation.

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