Feri hands out fund and group awards for German-speaking Europe

AllianceBernstein has won the award for most innovative fund at the Feri EuroRating Awards 2012, presented yesterday for the fifth year to the best managers judged in each of Germany, Switzerland and Austria.

AllianceBernstein took the innovation award for its RMB Income Plus fund, which invests across Asia in local currency bonds, for diversification and superior yield, and then converts the currency exposure back to renminbi, for appreciation in China’s tender.

Hayden Briscoe, AllianceBernstein’s director, Asia Pacific fixed income, said: “This is a very pleasing recognition of our capabilities in several areas. It reflects our ability to bring together investment thesis, product development and the global reach of our distribution capability to provide solutions for our clients, and to do so quickly to enable them to capitalize on fast-evolving market opportunities.

“We differentiated ourselves from other offerings in this market in the way we offered investors that exposure. We offer investment in a range of Asian bonds with much more attractive yields and exposure to the RMB through a currency swap. Our portfolio gives investors the best of both worlds-attractive yields and RMB currency exposure.”

Other major winners included Allianz Global Investors, for best full-range provider in Germany and Austria, and Threadneedle Investment Services, which took the award for Switzerland.

Among boutiques, Banque de Luxembourg Investments won in Germany and Austria, while ZKB Asset Management won in Switzerland.

MFS Investment Management took out the overall equities fund manager award in each region.

Raiffeisen Capital Management won in Germany and Austria for bond fund management, while Vontobel Asset Management won in Switzerland.

For absolute return funds, Bantleon Bank won; for emerging markets Aberdeen Asset Management; for SRI, Bank Sarasin; and for real estate, RREEF Investment.

There were also 12 fund categories and five more ‘best asset manager’ awards.

Each winner fought to differentiate itself from a vast pool of about 15,500 funds in the German-speaking market, of which Feri examined about 4000 appropriate for retail audiences, before creating a shortlist of about 100 for the fund categories. Each was scrutinised using both quantitative and qualitative criteria.

Dr Tobias Schmidt, Feri EuroRating Services chief executive, said it was notable how widely the awards were spread among groups.

The other awards were won as follows:

The global equity fund award, for each of Germany, Austria and Switzerland, was won by Morgan Stanley Global Brands fund.

The European equity fund award was won by Comgest Growth Europe for both German and Swiss regions, and by Banque de Luxembourg Investments’ BL Equities Europe fund for Austria.

For North American equities, BlackRock Asset Management Deutschland’s iShares NASDAQ-100 won for Germany and Austria, while AXA Framlington American Growth fund won for Switzerland.

For Japanese shares, Unigestion’s UNI-GLOBAL Minimum Variance Japan won for all three regions.

For Asia Pacific ex Japan, First State Investments’ Asia Pacific Leaders fund won in all three regions.

For emerging markets equities, it was Aberdeen Asset Management’s Aberdeen Global – Emerging Markets Equity fund across all regions.

For central and Eastern European shares, Deka Investment’s Deka-ConvergenceAktien won in all three regions.

The German equities fund award was split between Pioneer Investments’ Pioneer Investments German Equity (for Germany); Matejka & Partner Asset Management’s Meinl Equity Austria (for Austria); and Pictet’s Pictet CH-Swiss Market Tracker (for Switzerland).

For bond global currencies funds, Schoellerbank Invest’s Schoellerbank Euro Alternatif won in Germany and Austria, while Banque Piguet’s Piguet Global Fund – International Bond (CHF) won.

For euro bond funds, iShares eb.rexx Government Germany from BlackRock won in Germany and Austria, while Credit Suisse Funds’ CS ETF (CH) on SBI Domestic Government 3-7 won.

For corporate high grade euro bonds, State Street Global Advisors’ SSgA Euro Corporate Industrials Bond Index fund won in all three regions.

Among balanced global flexible funds, Newton Investment Management’s Real Return fund took the prize, for all three regions.

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