In the midst of post Olympics celebrations, and the nation held in raptures by the heroics of team GB and their continued success in the Paralympics, it seems fitting that there was another night of celebration honouring those deemed at the pinnacle of their profession.
The Morningstar OBSR Honours Award, now in its fifth year, was created to recognise individual fund manager and fund groups who have made a significant contribution to the retail investment field.
Regarded as the Award’s night of the year in the financial services industry, it is hosted by the irrepressible duo: Richard Romer Lee and Nigel Whittingham. The Morningstar OBSR awards recognise four categories; Outstanding Investor Honour, Outstanding New Talent, Outstanding Contributor to the Industry and Outstanding Investment House.
This year’s key note speaker was Jim O’Neil, economist and chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, who enlightened the audience with his views on three key topics: BRICs; Manchester United and the Bank of England Governor role. O’Neill said that although he is flattered to be linked to the Bank of England role it did not “excite him” and suggested that the Paddy Power odds offered for former Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp (1,000/1) had a better chance of coming good than the 10/3 offered for him.
However, as a Manchester fan he joked: “The Treasury opposition leader Ed Balls was quoted as saying that given the particular responsibilities involved in the job then super-humans only need to apply. In that regard I think Sir Alex Ferguson is the only person alive who is capable of fulfilling that role.”
Concerning BRICs, O’Neil believes China’s influence and contribution to the global economy will be immense and cautioned those against underestimating its impact. Talking about the BRIC nations, O’Neil said, ‘even if these countries are showing slower growth, unless they disappear off the planet the influence and contribution they are making continues to be huge. And in my opinion it remains quite easily the most fundamental opportunity not just for investors, but everyone.’
To the main event of the evening and Richard Romer Lee presented the 2012 awards:
- Outstanding Investor Honour: jointly awarded to Harry Nimmo from Standard Life Investments and Richard Pease from Henderson Global Investors
- Outstanding New Talent: awarded to Philip Rodrigs at Investec Asset Management
- Outstanding Contributor to the Industry: awarded to Richard Buxton of Schroders
- Outstanding Investment House: awarded jointly to M&G and First State Investments
Particular focus and credit is given to those who have achieved consistently outstanding long-term returns that are in line with investor expectations. All four awards are based on Morningstar OBSR’s qualitative research. And so the evening continued with Nigel Whittingham’s motto ringing in everyone’s ears – ‘drink more red’!