Bruce Hamilton & team Morgan Stanley
second teamPhilip Middleton & team BofA Merrill Lynch
third teamDaniel Garrod, Haley Tam Citi
On top for the first time is Bruce Hamilton, 36, who leads Morgan Stanleys two-analyst team to its first appearance in the winners circle since 2005. The analysts, in second place last year, are very helpful in spotting trends, according to one investor. In July they upgraded Schroders from underweight to overweight, at 925p, on the belief that the market had yet to appreciate the pickup in corporate bond sales to yield-hungry retail investors. By late December shares of the London-based asset management firm had surged to 1,330p, a 43.8 percent gain that trounced the sector by 42.4 percentage points. The researchers upgraded Henderson Group, an investment management firm headquartered in London, from underweight to overweight in February, at 75p, on the belief that earnings accretion from an acquisition would be higher than many analysts were expecting. The stock had zipped to 124.30p by the end of the year, a gain of 65.7 percent that led the sector by 13.9 points. Hamilton joined Morgan Stanley in 2002 after working as an accountant at PriceWaterhouseCoopers and a financials analyst at Cazenove (now J.P. Morgan Cazenove); he earned a bachelors degree in history from Edinburgh University in 1996. After four years at the top, the BofA duo led by Philip Middleton slides to second place. The team elevated interdealer brokerage Icap to top pick in November 2008, one day after the firm delivered what the analysts termed strong results and a confident, fact-packed presentation that prompted a bizarre market reaction a sell-off that saw the shares plummet 8.5 percent in one session, to a bargain-priced 230p. By year-end 2009 the stock was up 76 percent, to 430p. Daniel Garrod and Haley Tam of Citi repeat in third. The pair upgraded Londons Man Group in March, at 133.78p, on valuation. Some may think us brave, foolish or both to upgrade a hedge fund manager from sell to buy in the current environment, the analysts acknowledged when making their recommendation, but they were soon proved right: The stock had soared 56.7 percent, to 209.70p, by May, and they downgraded it to hold too soon, as it turned out. Mans shares rose 47.1 percent further, to 308.50p, through December.
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