2020 FE fundinfo Alpha Managers revealed

With the start of a new decade, 55 fund managers have become ‘Alpha Managers’ in 2020.

18 February 2020
  • 200 managers awarded accolade with 55 joining the list
  • Fidelity International tops groups table with most Alpha Managers
  • IA Global tops sectors with the highest number of Alpha Managers

With the start of a new decade, 55 fund managers have become ‘Alpha Managers’ in 2020.

The coveted Alpha Manager list, which is compiled each year by global fund data and technology provider FE fundinfo, identifies and celebrates the top 10 per cent of UK retail-facing managers, based on their entire career performance.

Charles Younes, Research Manager at FE fundinfo, said:
Over the past year, the benefits of active management have increasingly come under the spotlight, as passive investing continues to attract significant inflows, during one of the largest bull runs in history. However, active management remains a vital component of any successful investment proposition, particularly in more challenging economic environments. The Alpha Manager ratings illustrate how the most successful managers consistently add value for investors over the course of their careers, removing the nuances of short-term market movements other cyclical factors.”

Alpha Managers

John Boselli, Senior Managing Director and Equity Portfolio Manager at Wellington Management topped this year’s list and is a new entrant for 2020. He currently manages the firm’s global, non-U.S. developed-market, and European quality-growth portfolios. His Wellington Global Quality Growth and Manulife Global Quality Growth funds have consistently outperformed their benchmarks, with the former returning an impressive 63.83% over the past three years, compared to 22.95% in its IA Global Sector benchmark over the same timeframe.

Among the new managers to join the list this year are Alex Lyle from Threadneedle who currently manages 13 funds and Philip Saunders from Investec, who manages nine funds across the IA Flexible Investment and IA Specialist sectors.

Fifty-five managers lost their Alpha Manager status this year, with retirement, fund closure and underperformance being the main causes. Chief among those was Neil Woodford, whose Woodford Equity Income fund was suspended and subsequently closed in 2019, following an extended period of underperformance and investor withdrawals.


Fidelity International topped the group table with eleven Alpha Managers, two more from 2019. They replace BlackRock who drop to second with eight. Other major fund groups also saw several of their managers being awarded the ‘Alpha’ accolade. They were Comgest Asset Management, Polar Capital and GAM (all six) and T.Rowe Price and First State Investments (both with five).

Rank, Group, Number of Alpha Managers

1, Fidelity, 11

2, BlackRock, 8

3, Comgest, 6

3, GAM, 6

4, First State Investments, 5

4, T.Rowe Price, 5

4. M&G, 5

Charles Younes said:
In the 2020 Alpha Manager rebalance, Fidelity has a number of Alpha Managers across a range of sectors. This suggests that there is not one driver behind their success, but rather it’s their environment and support teams which provide excellent feedback to the fund managers. Fund managers will be provided with clear and accurate information which allows them to concentrate on managing money in line with their mandates.

Across the sectors, the 2020 Alpha Manager ratings reveal a strong year for global markets. The IA Global Sector returned the greatest number of Alpha Managers with 39 in total. Despite uncertain economic conditions closer to home, the UK also performed particularly well, with 33 Alpha Managers.

Sector, Number of Alpha Managers

IA Global, 39

IA UK All Companies, 33

IA Specialist, 26

Charles Younes said:
US equities have consistently outperformed other asset classes, despite their rich valuation. While they are expensive, those managers that look beyond valuation and concentrate on other factors have enjoyed positive performances, and we have seen a high number of Alpha Managers operating within the IA Global sector.”

To celebrate the performance of the UK’s best fund managers, FE fundinfo will be hosting its annual Alpha Manager Awards at Banking Hall in the heart of the City of London on 7th May. Prior to this FE fundinfo will announce its Hall of Fame Managers; those managers who have been awarded an FE fundinfo Alpha Manager rating for the past seven consecutive years.