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For a third year running, UBS earns top honors, this time under the leadership of Zurich-based Thomas Gilbert , 37, who took charge after Themis Themistocleous was promoted to head of product management in July.
Thomas Gilbert & team UBS
second team Timothy Jones & team Deutsche
third team Andrew Stott & team BofAMerrill Lynch
runners-up Andrew Benson & team Citi; Michael Eastwood & team Morgan Stanley
For a third year running, UBS earns top honors, this time under the leadership of Zurich-based Thomas Gilbert , 37, who took charge after Themis Themistocleous was promoted to head of product management in July. The nowfive-member squad "highlighted emerging risks" for agrochemicals investors, recalls one money manager, referring primarily to Februarys downgrade to sell of Syngenta, a Swiss seed and pesticide producer, on increasing competition from generic crop-protection chemicals and the stocks ballooning valuation; the share price was then at Sf285.00. By the end of the year, it had fallen 29.7 percent, to Sf200.40. During the same period the sector fell 33.9 percent. Gilbert, who joined UBS in March 2004 from J.P. Morgan Securities armed with a Ph.D. in chemistry from the Eldgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich, "has a deep understanding of the agricultural sector and its value chain," declares one investor. Leaping from runner-up to second place is the Deutsche Bank quartet overseen by Timothy Jones . Clients praise the researchers for providing "timely" and "insightful" advice by calling attention to pricing pressure on Akzo Nobel in December 2007, but fault them for not advising them to sell the Dutch paint manufacturer until July, when the stock was already down 19.6 percent for the year. Akzo Nobels shares had plunged a further 30.5 percent by December 31. Advancing from runner-up to third place is the Banc of America SecuritiesMerrill Lynch trio led by Andrew Stott . In January 2008 the team, praised by one client for "knowing their companies inside and out," downgraded Germanys Wacker Chemie to neutral, at 181.00, on the belief that the maker of silicon wafers and other industrial plastics would suffer from slowing demand for computers. Sure enough, earnings declined and the stock closed the year down 58.7 percent, to 74.71.
Metals & Mining
Paul Galloway & team UBS
second team Jeremy Gray, Michael Shillaker & team Credit Suisse
third team Daniel Fairclough, Jason Fairclough BofAMerrill Lynch
runners-up Heath Jansen, Johan Rode & team Citi; Sylvain Brunet Exane BNP Paribas; Ephrem Ravi & team Morgan Stanley
Its eight straight years at No. 1 for the four-analyst UBS squad piloted by Paul Galloway , 45, who "knows his companies well," according to one longtime client. High debt levels prompted the team to issue a pair of sell recommendations in October: on Britains Kazakhmys, a copper miner with operations in Kazakhstan, and on Lonmin, a platinum producer with operations in South Africa. The stocks tumbled 23.3 and 18.7 percent, respectively, through December. During the same period the sector fell 6.9 percent. In second place for a third consecutive year is the four-strong Credit Suisse team co-captained by Jeremy Gray , who left the firm in December to join the investor relations department at Britains Central African Mining & Exploration Co., and Michael Shillaker , who is "well connected and thinks intelligently," as one money manager puts it. In January 2008 the team initiated coverage with a buy recommendation on Britains Eurasian Natural Resources Corp., which operates mines in Kazakhstan, deeming the stock a bargain at 651.47p. The share price skyrocketed 132.6 percent, to 1,515.15p, by May before plunging to end the year at 330.00p, but the analysts remain bullish. Advancing from runner-up to third place is the Banc of America SecuritiesMerrill Lynch team of Daniel Fairclough and Jason Fairclough (who are not related). "They know what goes on on the ground and dont overcomplicate things," contends one ally. In June the analysts downgraded Finnish steelmaker Outokumpu to underperform, on declining steel prices. As of December 31 the stock was trailing the sector by 2.4 percentage points.
Paper & Packaging
Myles Allsop UBS
second team Mathias Carlson Deutsche
third team Lars Kjellberg Credit Suisse
For a third consecutive year, Myles Allsop of UBS captures the crown. Allsop, 34, who works alone, wowed investors with his "perfect analyses," as one client puts it, citing a series of ratings changes on Finlands Stora Enso. The analyst upgraded the pulp-and-paper manufacturers shares from neutral to short-term buy in August, at 7.45, largely on the companys plan to close factories to cut costs. The following month, after the share price had risen 5.0 percent, to 7.82, he downgraded it to neutral, and in November downgraded it to sell, at 7.31, on declining sales. By December 31 the stock had plunged 24.5 percent since the second downgrade, to 5.52. Repeating in second place is Paris-based Mathias Carlson of Deutsche Bank. Another one-man band, Carlson downgraded Norways Norske Skogindustrier, the worlds biggest producer of newsprint and magazine paper, from hold to sell in October 2007, at 56.30 Norwegian kroner, and has highlighted the call repeatedly since, citing falling demand. By year-end 2008 the share price had crumpled to Nkr13.50, a loss of 76.0 percent that trailed the sector by 25.8 percentage points. "Hes on top of pricing trends," remarks one investor. Lars Kjellberg finishes in third place for a second straight year. The Credit Suisse analyst, who also works solo, earns praise for his downgrade of British containerboard manufacturer Mondi from neutral to sell in May, at 390.50p, on decreasing demand. The stock plummeted 47.8 percent through December, to 203.75p. Kjellberg "has very strong industry knowledge," declares one money manager.
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