Ashley Redmond: I'm here with Christopher Davis, the Director of Fund Analysis here at Morningstar Canada and the Chair of the Morningstar Awards this year.
So, Chris, thanks so much for joining me.
Christopher Davis: Thanks for having me Ashley.
Redmond: So, the Morningstar Awards are actually in their 19th year and they're being held November 27 at the Fairmont Royal York right here in Toronto, and year after year we really aim to recognize outstanding achievement in the fund industry.
Davis: That's the whole idea; it’s to convene the best and the brightest of the fund industry and to recognize what accomplishments they may have [achieved], not just over the past year, but over the lifetime of their careers.
Redmond: That’s great. So, for people that don’t attend, we’ll talk a little bit about the awards. One category of awards is the Morningstar Awards and they are:
So, Chris, are those the only awards that are handpicked by Morningstar analysts?
Davis: Yeah, those pretty much are; most of the awards are actually the result of a jury process. I'm responsible for convening juries, fund analysts from across the Canadian landscape. So really the awards are consensus opinion of lots of folks, not just Morningstar. So, I think that's maybe something that goes under-remarked or is misunderstood, you could say.
Redmond: Yeah, I remember at the end of the award ceremony last year we had a lot of questions. Who picks the awards? Is everything picked by Morningstar? So I do think it's important to note that there is a jury involved.
Davis: Yeah. Each juror votes independently. We all convene and discuss each other’s nominations, but at the end of the day each juror picks who they want to win in each category.
Redmond: Okay. So, outside of the Morningstar Awards, we also have awards for mutual funds, pooled funds, hedge funds, submission-based awards, and ETF awards. So, Chris, why don't you give us some examples of awards that will be handed out this year?
Davis: Well, you have funds like the best Canadian balanced fund, for instance, the best fund-of-funds; in the hedge fund arena, we're going to be rewarding best opportunistic hedge fund, for example.
Redmond: That's great. We're also adding two ETF [awards] this year and they are specialty equity ETF and specialty fixed income ETF; as well for the submission-based ETF award, the criteria has been modified to include education, and we also have a new host this year, which is Catherine Murray from BNN.
Davis: Yeah, I think she’s going to be a lot of fun.
Redmond: Yeah, I'm excited to see her. So, it's your first year chairing the event, so what are you most excited for?
Davis: I think, I'm really excited, for one, to see the best and brightest fund managers rewarded for serving long-term investors. For two, this is kind, at least for me, like going to the Oscars or Toronto International Film Festival, but it’s filled with investment people. So, I'm excited about that. And third, there is always really good food and drink, and I usually hold off on the drink until after the award ceremony is over, but after chairing this, I think I'll have a drink.
Redmond: You will definitely have deserved it at that point.
Redmond: All right. So, if you're looking to attend the award, just go to www.investmentawards.com, and we hope to see you November 27 at the Fairmont Royal York here in Toronto.