Country Sectors: Germany

In first place for a phenomenal 14th year is the Deutsche team directed by Andreas Neubauer, 45.

Andreas Neubauer & team Deutsche

second team Sven Weier & team UBS

third team Gunnar Hamann, Andreas Hürkamp & team Commerzbank

In first place for a phenomenal 14th year is the Deutsche team directed by Andreas Neubauer, 45. The 17 researchers, based in Frankfurt, “are exceptionally thorough in their analysis, and they know how markets think,” observes one money manager. One call that worked out very well for investors was a yearlong buy on Tipp24, a provider of online games of chance, on the belief that the company had a stable customer base and risks such as high jackpot payouts were “sustainable.” The stock catapulted 425.4 percent in 2009, beating Germany’s broad market by a blistering 407.9 percentage points. Another call that paid off handsomely was the team’s long-standing buy on Daimler, first recommended in October 2008 on the automobile manufacturer’s success in reducing inventory and strengthening its working-capital position, among other factors. Daimler’s shares had zipped to €37.23 by the end of 2009, a gain of 48.5 percent that outpaced the country’s broad market by 33.6 points. Unranked last year, the UBS quintet captained by newcomer Sven Weier captures the No. 2 spot. The Frankfurt-based analysts “combine exceptional macro research on larger developments in combination with distinctive, bottom-up research on individual companies,” according to one buy-side backer. The team highlighted its buy recommendation on automobile and defense equipment manufacturer Rheinmetall at the beginning of 2009, at €21.87, on rising demand for military and civilian vehicles. In September, after the stock had soared 76.7 percent, to €38.65, they downgraded it to neutral, on valuation. It ended the year at €44.74. Gunnar Hamann and Andreas Hürkamp pilot the Commerzbank Corporates & Markets trio to a third-place debut. At the start of last year, the Frankfurt-based analysts predicted that the DAX, which began 2009 at 4,810.20, would plummet to 4,000 in the first quarter then rebound to 5,800 by the end of the year. Close: The index tumbled to 3,666.41 in early March and ended the year at 5,957.43. The researchers are “very conscientious observers of everything to do with German equities,” marvels one investor.

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