Morningstar Announces Winners for Morningstar European Fund Manager of the Year Awards 2014

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Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionPDF versionPDF versionAMSTERDAM, 28th March 2014—Morningstar, Inc. (NASDAQ: MORN), a leading provider of independent investment research, today announced the winners for its fifth annual Morningstar European Fund Manager of the Year Awards. Morningstar’s European Fund Manager of the Year Awards draw upon the qualitative analysis of the company’s 30-member European research team to recognise those fund managers who have demonstrated excellence for shareholders over the long term. The awards are presented in three categories: ? Fund Manager of the Year: European Equity; ? Fund Manager of the Year: Global Equity; and ? Fund Manager of the Year: European Fixed-Income.The winners are: Morningstar Fund Manager of the Year: European EquityNicolas Walewski, Alken European Opportunities Fund, Silver Analyst RatingMorningstar Fund Manager of the Year: Global EquityJ. Kristoffer C. Stensrud and Team, Skagen Kon-Tiki Fund, Gold Analyst RatingMorningstar Fund Manager of the Year: European Fixed-Income Michael Krautzberger, BGF Euro Bond Fund, Gold Analyst Rating“Morningstar analysts research and rate more than 1,400 retail investment funds available to investors across Europe, enabling them to identify the best fund managers whom they believe stand out from their peers,” Christopher Traulsen, CFA, director of fund research for Morningstar Europe, said.“Nicolas Walewski has 20 years of investment experience and founded Alken Asset Management in December 2005, where he has built a compact but well-qualified team of five sector analysts and one co-manager. His investment style is largely opportunistic--he is interested in ‘forgotten’ stocks in businesses where all or certain assets are undervalued by the market, or where he believes he has identified new sources of profit growth. Whatever the investment thesis may be, Walewski prefers companies with credible management teams, capable of realizing the business’ high profitability potential. He tries to avoid market excesses and may indeed be contrarian in his investment choices, as evidenced by the decision to stay away from the commodity and emerging markets super cycle over the past few years. “Walewski has built an outstanding record of outperformance, both during his previous tenure at Banque Syz, where he managed the Oyster European Opportunities fund, and at Alken. In 2013, the fund delivered top-decile returns, notably bolstered by good security picks in the technology sector. Walewski’s stewardship is also evidenced by his decision to close the strategy to new investors in September 2013, thereby preserving the interests of existing fundholders.“Kristoffer Stensrud and the team at Skagen Kon-Tiki had yet another stellar year in 2013, but while 2013 may have been exceptionally good, Stensrud is in no way unfamiliar with beating his benchmark, outperforming it in 19 of the last 20 calendar years at the fund house. Under his command, the fund has outperformed its next highest-returning peer by more than 1 percentage point per annum over the 10 years ended 31 Dec. 2013. “The fund features an exceptionally strong team of four co-managers who work alongside Stensrud and can draw from the larger team of equity managers at SKAGEN. Kon-Tiki’s managers have very few constraints, the most important being that they must invest at least 50 per cent of the fund’s assets in emerging markets. Their opportunistic, contrarian approach leads them to hunt for securities they consider cheap, and this often leads them to underfollowed or out-of-favour issues. They use their flexibility to venture into developed markets, but the focus of the fund is always in emerging issuers. However, in 2013, most of the excess performance came from emerging markets, in particular from South Korean preferred stocks and Chinese stocks. The approach carries notable risks, but it’s hard to envision anyone more capable of executing it as well as Stensrud has over the years. Stensrud also has a trait we love to see—a large personal investment in Skagen funds, which helps align his interests with those of fund investors.“Michael Krautzberger has built a very strong franchise at Blackrock, successfully applying his risk-aware investment approach to a wide range of euro bond strategies. He believes in an active approach to fixed income that is diversified in terms of holdings and investment strategies, but can also take advantage of new market opportunities when they arise. At the core of the process are relative value plays, but he also uses more traditional fixed-income strategies such as duration, sector, country, or security selection. This approach has added value across most of the diversified alpha sources since Krautzberger took over the fund in October 2005. “In 2013, the fund finished in the top quartile of its category, due to a very strong second half of the year; relative value trades in the periphery and in semi-core countries in particular performed well over the period. Krautzberger’s decision to marginally increase credit risk and implement a small underweight duration position also proved helpful. The fund has achieved first- or second-quartile performance within the Morningstar EUR Diversified Bond category in all calendar years during his tenure from 2006 to 2013. Strong risk-adjusted returns over the long term are a testament to the strength of this risk-aware process and Krautzberger’s skills.” - Ends -Notes to Editors:Nominations for a Morningstar Fund Manager of the Year award are made by Morningstar’s European fund research team consisting of fund analysts based in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, The Netherlands, Finland, and Norway. To qualify for the award, nominated funds must be Morningstar Medalists--a fund that has garnered a Morningstar Analyst Rating™ of Gold, Silver, or Bronze. A fund manager may be nominated for a fund domiciled anywhere in Europe. For more information about Morningstar’s Analyst Rating methodology, please visit: http://corporate.morningstar.com/us/documents/MethodologyDocuments/AnalystRatingforFundsMethodology.pdf.The Morningstar Analyst Rating represents Morningstar analysts’ opinion of a fund’s relative investment merit. The rating is a forward-looking measure and identifies the analyst team’s conviction in a fund’s long-term performance prospects relative to a relevant Pan-European and Asian peer group. The Morningstar Analyst Rating scale is Gold, Silver, Bronze, Neutral, and Negative.Analyst Ratings are subjective in nature and should not be used as the sole basis for investment decisions. Analyst Ratings are based on Morningstar’s current expectations about future events and therefore involve unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause Morningstar’s expectations not to occur or to differ significantly from what was expected. Morningstar does not represent its Analyst Ratings to be guarantees nor should they be viewed as an assessment of a fund’s or the fund’s underlying securities’ creditworthiness. The references above should not be considered a solicitation by Morningstar to buy securities.About Morningstar, Inc. Morningstar, Inc. is a leading provider of independent investment research in North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. The company offers an extensive line of products and services for individual investors, financial advisors, asset managers, and retirement plan providers and sponsors. Morningstar provides data on approximately 446,000 investment offerings, including stocks, mutual funds, and similar vehicles, along with real-time global market data on more than 10 million equities, indexes, futures, options, commodities, and precious metals, in addition to foreign exchange and Treasury markets. Morningstar also offers investment management services through its registered investment advisor subsidiaries and had approximately $159 billion in assets under advisement and management as of Dec. 31, 2013. The company has operations in 27 countries.

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