Morningstar has announced four finalists for the 2012 Morningstar International Stock Fund Manager of the Year award, which will be announced the first week in January. The award considers long-term record as well as portfolio decisions and performance for this year. The nominees are:
George Evans of the Oppenheimer International Growth Fund, which has a year to date return through Dec. 12 of 20.3 percent, was chosen for his willingness to buy small- and mid-cap companies along with larger ones. That flexibility and a willingness to hang onto holdings have given the fund flexibility over the years, Morningstar says.
Rajiv Jain of the Virtus Foreign Opportunities Fund, which has a year to date return of 21.1 percent, and the Virtus Emerging Markets Opportunities Fund, with a year to date return of 19.2 percent. Jain works for the funds' subadvisor, Vontobel Asset Management. He is an unconventional manager whose portfolios do not look much like those of indexes or his peers, Morningstar says. He favors growth companies but takes a careful approach to this strategy.
David Samra and Daniel O’Keefe of the Artisan International Value Fund, which has a year to date return of 21.6 percent, and the Artisan Global Value Fund, with a year to date return of 18.5 percent. Morningstar cites the former fund's outstanding 10-year track record.
Rounding out the nominees is Mark Yockey of the Artisan International Fund, which has a year to date return of 23.9 percent, and the Artisan International Small Cap Fund with a year to date return of 31.3 percent. He uses a growth-oriented approach but is still moderate and tends to straddle the border between growth and blend.