Philipp Zieschang & team UBS
Philipp Zieschang and his UBS team of 24 are the undisputed sector champions; no other firm met the minimum requirements for publication of a second or third team. The Zurich-based analysts, who finished third in 2008 (the sector wasnt published last year), are very proactive always checking back on new developments at companies they follow, marvels one portfolio manager. High liquidity and strong cash flow prompted the team to maintain a yearlong buy on Sika, a global supplier of specialty chemicals for the construction and transportation industries. The stock bolted 88 percent last year, from Sf859.21 to Sf1,615, and handily outperformed Switzerlands broad market gain of 19.4 percent. Another winning call: An upgrade from neutral to buy on Holcim in July, at Sf59.95, following the cement and concrete companys announcement in June that it would buy the Australian operations of Mexicos Cemex for A$2.02 billion ($1.64 billion). The acquisition was completed in October, and by late December Holcims stock had jumped 34.3 percent, to Sf80.50, since the analysts upgrade. Zieschang, 39, who earned a Ph.D. in business administration from the Universität Zurich in 1999, with a concentration in investment management, joined UBS in 2002 from Julius Baer.
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