Harald Hendrikse & team BofA Merrill Lynch
second teamMax Warburton & team Sanford C. Bernstein
third teamArndt Ellinghorst & team Credit Suisse
Harald Hendrikse, 41, and his two-analyst BofA team capture first-place honors for a second straight year, thanks partly to what one money manager calls excellent, old-fashioned stock picking. Case in point: The team recommended Germanys Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler as an oversold opportunity in October 2008, at 22.92. The stock had sped to 37.23 by late December 2009, a 62.4 percent gain that was miles ahead of the sectors 16.6 percent loss.
Max Warburton captained the first-place UBS team in 2008; he left the Swiss bank in August that year for Sanford C. Bernstein, for whom he now leads this years No. 2 team. In October 2008 the two-member team, which was unranked last year, turned bearish on Porsche Automobil Holding, telling clients the German auto manufacturer was doubly vulnerable to a sector downturn owing to its large, undisclosed stake in Volkswagen. Ten days later, Porsche revealed that it owned or had options on 74.1 percent of VWs shares. The revelation sent Porsches stock price sliding 18.8 percent, through December 2009. Unraveling Porsches secret ownership of Volkswagen and manipulation of its common shares was a work of true genius, cheers one investor.
Down one rung to No. 3 is the Credit Suisse quartet guided by Arndt Ellinghorst, described by one client as indispensable. Recent winning picks include a January 2009 buy on PSA Peugeot Citroën, at 14.56, on the French automakers strong balance sheet. The stock zoomed 62.6 percent, to 23.67, through December.
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