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The 2014 Latin America Research Team: Economics, No. 1: Gray Newman & team

Gray Newman & team Morgan Stanley First-place appearances: 11

Total appearances: 20

Team debut: 1994

Under the guidance of Gray Newman, Morgan Stanley’s squad extends its winning streak to a fourth straight year, delivering the firm’s 20th appearance on this roster. “He has been able to separate short-term noise from long-term trends,” says one supporter New York–based team leader, who with his colleagues has been tracking the progress of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto’s free-market agenda. “While the current business cycle in Mexico has disappointed,” Newman advises, “we remain confident that the reforms being implemented in Mexico are likely to produce much stronger growth, larger foreign direct investment inflows, a stronger currency and a boost to the purchasing power of Mexican consumers.” In Brazil the real is enjoying its strongest effective exchange rate in ten years, the economists advise, boosting domestic consumption. At the same time, however, that currency strength has “devastated” production, the 55-year-old crew chief notes. “We remain concerned that we are seeing little progress on the reform front and continue to worry how the growth mismatch will ultimately be resolved,” he adds. “We continue to debate internally about the risks of an unraveling in Brazil.” Newman “knows LatAm very well,” another fund manager offers, so investors will greatly miss his insights. After two decades spent covering the region, Newman advised clients in May that he is retiring.

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