CHICAGO, Jun 26, 2003 Morningstar, Inc., is presenting its first Fund Manager Lifetime Achievement Awards to two leaders in the mutual-fund industry today at the 15th annual Morningstar Investment Conference in Chicago. Jean-Marie Eveillard, co-president and portfolio manager of First Eagle Funds, and Ralph Wanger, lead portfolio manager, chief investment officer, and president of Liberty Wanger Asset Management, will accept the honors this afternoon during a special session at the conference.
Morningstar's Fund Manager Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes mutual fund managers who throughout their careers have delivered outstanding long-term performance, aligned their interests with shareholders, demonstrated the courage to differ from consensus, and shown the ability to adapt to changes in the industry.
"Jean-Marie and Ralph are brilliant fund managers and have handled transitions in the fund industry with great acumen," said Don Phillips, managing director for Morningstar. "They both have produced superior results over an extended period of time, generating significant wealth for their shareholders. Moreover, each is leaving his fund to talented, well-trained successors, thus ensuring that shareholders will remain in good hands. The entire industry can learn from the examples of these two managers."
Jean-Marie Eveillard has managed the First Eagle Global Fund for nearly 25 years and the Overseas and Gold Funds since their inception in 1993. He began his career in 1962 with Societe Generale, a large bank in his native France.
He became an analyst with the SoGen International Fund (now the First Eagle Global Fund) in 1970 and became portfolio manager in 1979. Since that time, the fund's assets have grown from $18.9 million to $2.8 billion, and the fund returned an annualized 15 percent. He and co-manager Charles de Vaulx were named Morningstar International Stock Fund Managers of the Year for 2001.
Ralph Wanger has managed the Liberty Acorn Fund since 1970, making his tenure at the small-growth fund one of the industry's longest. Since he became manager, assets of the Liberty Acorn Fund have grown from $8 million to $7.5 billion. Wanger joined Harris Associates in 1960 and remained with the firm until 1992, when he left to form Wanger Asset Management. The Liberty Acorn Fund became the firm's flagship fund, but the firm expanded its lineup to include variable annuity products, retail funds, and offshore products. The firm was acquired by Liberty Financial Companies, Inc., in 2000, and today is part of Columbia Management Group, a division of FleetBoston Financial Corp.
Chicago-based Morningstar, Inc. is a global investment research firm, offering an extensive line of print, software, and Internet-based products and services for individuals, financial advisors, and institutions. The company is a trusted source for investment information, data, and analysis of stocks, mutual funds, separate accounts, exchange-traded funds, 529 plans, closed-end funds, and variable annuity/life subaccounts.