Fund manager of the year

Fund managers have faced a triple challenge this year – winning back money from hesitant investors, sailing through stormy markets and dealing with operational headwinds. The entrants in this year’s category represent the best of those who have successfully navigated their way through on three all fronts.

Schroders has this year managed to successfully combine strong individual fund manager performances with a deft touch when it comes to the corporate affairs. Top managers including Andy Brough, Rosemary Banyard, Nick Kirrage and Kevin Murphy have all demonstrated that there’s still good money to be made investing domestically, while chief executive Michael Dobson’s (pictured) well-crafted takeover of rival fund house Cazenove has added another phalanx of talent to its star-studded roster.

Paul Marshall (pictured) and Ian Wace’s hedge fund came into its own again this year after clever trading helped the $10.7bn manager steadily navigate increasingly choppy corporate conditions around the world, with its flagship Eureka fund doing well on the back of solid trading in Japanese securities. Following a bumper 20 per cent profit increase in 2011 and a solid investment performance by Marshall the company is on course to deliver similarly decent results and double digit returns in this trading year.

Invesco Perpetual, home to star fund manager Neil Woodford (pictured), has continued its stellar track record this year, delivering double digit returns as well as having a hand in some of the city’s largest corporate stories, including Woodford’s intervention to stop a merger between EADS and BAE. The Henley-on-Thames based firm has also poached star talent from a rival house to establish a multi-asset fund in a bid to crack the lucrative sector, underscoring its grand ambitions to push into the total return space.

Egerton Capital celebrates its 20th anniversary next year and is currently riding high thanks to the stellar investment performance of its co-founder and chief investment officer John Armitage (pictured). Armitage, who chairs the investment committee, oversees the group’s equity investment strategy and has had a solid track record this year, helped by a successful short position against Italian bank Monte Paschi. It follows an investing return of about 14 per cent last year, soaring above the industry average.

Odey Asset Management has come into form again this year thanks to a series of well-timed contrarian trades from founder Crispin Odey (pictured). Having achieved a return of close to 20 per cent last year Odey continued his enduring high conviction style to deliver double digit returns for his investors. Proving there’s strength in depth at Odey, fellow portfolio managers Feras Al-Chalabi and James Hanbury have also stormed ahead, outperforming their benchmarks by a considerable margin.