Graeme Pearson & team Nomura
second teamHannes Wittig & team J.P. Morgan
third teamJustin Funnell & team Credit Suisse
Graeme Pearson, 35, and his five associates at Lehman Brothers held the crown each year from 2002 through 2008. The team tumbled to runner-up last year in the midst of their move to Nomura, but this year they are back on top, thanks in part to their world-class fundamental work, as one portfolio manager puts it. One example: In September the team told clients that the ADRs of Bonn-based Deutsche Telekom, then at $13.49, were too cheap to ignore. The receipts had risen to $14.70 by December 31, a 9 percent gain that edged past the sector by 1.1 percentage points. Down one notch to No. 2 is J.P. Morgans seven-analyst squad under Hannes Wittig, whose handling of BT Group was a classic combo of timing and follow-through, recalls one impressed investor. The researchers upgraded the British telecommunications services provider to overweight in August as the outlook on its business improved; in November, after the shares had popped 10 percent and beat the sector by 1.7 points, they urged clients to take profits. After that, the stock slid 8.5 percent, through December. The Credit Suisse crew spent the past three years in the runner-up position; this year they advance to No. 3. Justin Funnell, sole leader following Jan-Willem Brands move to specialist sales, and his four teammates upgraded Belgian broadband-telephony provider Telenet Group Holding to buy last February, at 12.83, on strong growth prospects. The stock had surged 55.3 percent, to 19.93, by the end of the year.The analysts provide broader coverage than usual, with a good mix of established large caps and niche emerging-markets opportunities, says one fan.
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