Maneesh Deshpande, Evren Ergin, Venu Krishna & team Barclays
second teamMarko Kolanovic & team J.P. Morgan
third teamPhillip Mackintosh, Edward Tom & team Credit Suisse
Venu Krishna, 43, replaces Gabriela Baez, who now heads up Barclays Capital’s global index research, and joins co-leaders Maneesh Deshpande, 41, and Evren Ergin, 38, in guiding the ten-member team to a third straight year at No. 1. Krishna led the firm’s Convertibles squad to the top spot for five years running; that sector was eliminated this year, but Krishna’s experience was evident in this team’s valuation-driven buy rating on the 1.875 percent 2014 convertible bonds of Micron Technology, a computer-memory manufacturer based in Boise, Idaho. From the April recommendation through late August, the notes’ compounded annualized return was 260 percent, Krishna says. “I don’t know how we could operate without them,” asserts one grateful client.
Debuting in second place is the six-strong J.P. Morgan troupe guided by Marko Kolanovic. In March the team recommended Advanced Micro Devices’ 5.75 percent 2012 convertibles, judging the Sunnyvale, California–based semiconductor producer’s notes to be a bargain at $0.45 to the dollar. As of late August the bonds were trading at $0.78 to the dollar. “Their work is always solid, interesting and of high value,” affirms one backer.
The Credit Suisse team of seven jointly led by Edward Tom and Phillip Mackintosh slips one notch to third place. In October 2008, with the S&P 500 index down 38.2 percent for the year, they warned of a further sell-off, based on their volatility analysis and especially hedge fund outflows. In January, when the index had slipped only 1.2 percent further, they again cautioned that the market had not yet stabilized. The benchmark plunged 27.6 percent further before hitting bottom in March. “They have timely views,” proclaims one admirer.
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