Jaime Brandwood, Mark Shepperd & team UBS
second teamJessica Flounders & team Morgan Stanley
third teamAndrew Chu, Thomas Sykes & team Deutsche
Jamie Brandwood, 33, and Mark Shepperd, 53, steer the four-strong UBS squad to a sixth straight first-place finish. Portfolio managers applaud the teams machine-like analysis and complex modeling and well-honed people skills. The analysts urged clients to buy Experian in January, at 402p, believing the Dublin-based credit reporting agency would be among the earliest beneficiaries of cyclical recovery in the U.S., given its role in evaluating the creditworthiness of U.S. households. The stock surged 54 percent, to 619p, through December, and outperformed the sector by 21.5 percentage points.
Jessica Flounders leads Morgan Stanleys four-analyst crew to a second-place debut. The group issued a valuation-based upgrade to overweight in November 2008 on Travis Perkins, a British building-materials supplier that also provides management services to contractors and developers. The stock skyrocketed from 267.50p to 852p through December, a stunning 218.5 percent advance that made the sectors 42.1 percent gain pale in comparison. Investors cheer the team as armored with logic and strong in resolve.
Rising from runner-up to third place is the Deutsche trio guided by Andrew Chu and Thomas Sykes. Hailed by one buy-side enthusiast as unsurpassed researchers, the crew upgraded Rentokil Initial to buy in May, at 79p, on stabilizing revenue at the London-based provider of cleaning and catering services. The stock had shot up 46.3 percent, to 115.60p, by the end of the year.
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