by Detlef Glow.
On March 10 approximately 150 participants from the German and international fund industries celebrated the fifteenth annual Thomson Reuters Lipper Fund Awards for Germany, held in the Jumeirah Hotel Frankfurt. This awards event was the third event in the European awards series for Lipper’s global awards program. The event was hosted by the magazine DAS INVESTMENT and Mein Geld TV. Since Frankfurt is the financial center of the continent, the event gets a lot of attention from the asset management industry as well as from the media.
After the awards ceremony the guests participated in interesting conversations with their peers while they enjoyed the great food, live music from “Die Schwindler,” and drinks until late. The hosts covered the event either on Mein Geld TV, with a report and pictures on the Internet, or in the supplement of the magazine DAS INVESTMENT.
Different methodologies lead to different results
Contrary to what a number of market observers would expect, the Lipper Fund Awards are not based only on returns; the winners of a Thomson Reuters Lipper Fund Award aren’t determined by looking at the funds with the highest returns over the awards periods. In actuality, the Lipper Fund Awards are based on the Lipper Leader ratings for Consistent Return; they are calculated using a utility function based on the effective return over multiple non-overlapping periods: three-, five-, and ten-year horizons. The calculations over multiple periods ensure that all periods in which a fund underperforms the average of its peer group are identified. Then, Thomson Reuters Lipper uses a utility function based on behavioral finance theory to penalize periods of underperfomance against the peer group average, with more significant weightings being given to excess negative returns.
From an investor’s point of view the calculation methodology ensures that the winners of the Thomson Reuters Lipper Fund Awards are funds that have provided relatively superior consistency and risk-adjusted returns compared to a group of similar funds. Therefore, funds that receive a Thomson Reuters Lipper Fund Award may be the best fit for investors who value a fund’s year-to-year consistency relative to other funds in a particular peer group.
The best mutual funds in Germany
The Thomson Reuters Lipper Fund Awards ceremony in Frankfurt honored 20 single funds from the largest peer groups in the German fund universe by assets under management. In addition, there were 83 funds that won an award for the three-year period, although they didn’t receive a trophy on stage. Also, 90 funds were recognized with a Thomson Reuters Lipper Fund Award over the five-year period, and 61 funds won the prestigious trophy for the ten-year period.
MainFirst-Germany Fund A won the Thomson Reuters Lipper Fund Award for the Equity Germany category over the three-year period as well as over the five-year period. In addition, DWS Deutschland won over the ten-year period.
Equity Germany Small- and Mid-Cap
UniDeutschland XS was named the Thomson Reuters Lipper Fund Award winner for Equity Germany Small- and Mid-Cap over the three-year period, while DWS German Small/Mid Cap won the award for the five-year period.
The best asset management groups in Germany
The group awards are divided into large and small management groups, based on a regional assets-under-management split. It is not enough for a fund management company to hold just one large fund. A large management group must have at least five equity, five bond, and three mixed-asset portfolios, while a small group must have at least three equity, three bond, and three mixed-asset portfolios.
Within the bond segment the best small asset manager was T Rowe Price, which outperformed 53 competitors in this category. The best large bond fund manager was BlackRock, which beat 51 competitors in its category.
London-based Seilern outperformed its 98 opponents and was named the best small asset manager in the equity segment. The French Comgest won the trophy as the best large asset manager of equity funds, beating 59 competitors in terms of consistent outperformance.
There were 34 large asset managers and 75 small asset managers competing for the Thomson Reuters Lipper Fund Awards in the mixed-asset segment. While the Germany-based Fiduka won the trophy for the best small manager, the award for the best large manager went to the U.S.-based asset manager Fidelity.
The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the overall awards. The winning groups were able to show an above-average risk-adjusted performance within their bond, equity, and mixed-asset products. In this category there were 29 large groups and 27 small groups competing for the prestigious trophy. Jyske Invest won the award for the best small fund management group, while BlackRock was named the best large fund management group.
As one can see from the number of fund management groups in the single categories, the Thomson Reuters Lipper Fund Awards are notoriously competitive and recognize the fund managers that are setting benchmarks within the industry. The awards commemorate the expertise of the collective funds management industry and the individual funds’ ability to outperform the market.