The third edition of Morningstar India’s annual fund awards was a much-anticipated event, and it did not disappoint. Last night, at a glitzy ceremony, HDFC Asset Management Company took top honours, winning awards for the Best Multi-Asset Fund House and Best Equity Fund House; the latter for the second year in a row.
For the first time, Morningstar India gave out the Best Multi-Asset Fund House award; this award recognizes a fund house’s ability in managing funds across asset classes. The performance of funds from the equity, debt and asset allocation categories was considered while deciding on the winner.
In the asset allocation category, awards were given out for the Best Moderate Allocation Fund and the Best Conservative Allocation Fund. It was a clean sweep by HDFC Asset Management Company. HDFC Balanced Fund – Growth was adjudged the Best Moderate Allocation Fund, while HDFC Multiple Yield Fund – Plan 2005 - Growth emerged the Best Conservative Allocation Fund.
Over the years, ICICI Prudential Asset Management Company has fund made a name for itself in the debt segment, with its impressive line-up of funds. The fund house completed a hat-trick, winning the award for the Best Debt Fund House, the third year in a row.
In the equity category, awards were announced in three categories. UTI - Dividend Yield Fund - Growth won the award for the Best Large Cap Fund. The fund had an impressive 2010, thanks to investments in the technology and auto sectors; also, its resilient performance in 2008 came into play, since performance over three calendar years was considered. The combination of a strong showing in 2010 and a noteworthy risk profile, over the long haul, helped Birla Sun Life MNC Fund – Growth bag the award for the Best Small/Mid Cap Fund. Few were surprised when Fidelity Tax Advantage Fund - Dividend was adjudged the Best ELSS (Tax Savings) Fund, for the second year in a row. The portfolio manager’s disciplined investment approach has resulted in an enviable risk-reward profile for the fund.
Three awards were given out in the debt category. In the Ultrashort Bond category, the importance of keeping costs down cannot be overstated. The winning fund: JM Money Manager Fund – Super Plan – Growth did admirably on that front and also, benefitted from a stable investment style. Templeton India Short-Term Income Plan – Retail Plan – Growth, won the award for the Best Short-Term Bond Fund. The fund’s cause was aided in no small measure by the portfolio manager’s ability to recognize change in the credit cycle, which resulted in a blistering performance in 2009 and 2010. Canara Robeco Income – Growth was adjudged the Best Intermediate/Long-Term Bond Fund. The fund was aided by the presence of a skilled portfolio manager who is adept at managing duration.
In conclusion, the fund awards certainly lived up to their billing of rewarding funds and fund houses that have added most value for investors, over the past year and the long-term.