Also celebrating was Insight Investment – the only one firm to win more than one category on the night after picking up both the fixed-income and liability-driven investment manager awards, and came second in the asset manager category.
Baillie Gifford‘s achievement in winning the asset manager award for the third year in a row was down to the respect the Scottish firm is held in by both investment consultants, which advise big investors on allocations, and its peers at other asset management firms.
Baillie Gifford, which manages £130 billion, won plaudits from our 58 industry judges for its unusual unlimited-liability partnership structure, which is seen as fostering long-termism and caution, as well as consistency of personnel and process.
One judge also offered praise for the firm’s lobbying in favour of active fund management, when the UK government was threatening to force one of the biggest public-sector pension funds to go passive in 2014. He said: “They were prepared to stand up and be counted on this.”
AMG‘s chief executive, Sean Healey, won praise for building a $ 700 billion funds business, comprising stakes in 40 long-only, hedge-fund and wealth-advisory businesses. Key affiliates include Cliff Asness’s AQR Asset Management, which also scooped the prize for smart beta asset manager of the year last night.
AQR was also narrowly pipped in the multi-asset manager of the year category, in which the award went to the Scandinavian firm Nordea, whose victory came as a result of a stellar year for its Nordea-1 Stable Return fund.
The fund has posted several years of strong performance in a hot sector and took in €10 billion during the 12 months ended August 31, according to fund-flow stats from Morningstar.
In September, the firm said that as a result of the fund’s rapid growth it was closing it to new investors.
In other categories, Redington took back the prize for investment consultancy of the year from Mercer, having surrendered it to the long-time winner in 2015. The category is developing into a straight fight between these two firms, one a globally-dominant giant in its field, and the other, Redington, a comparatively recent UK startup.
A less competitive category was fiduciary management, with the award for manager of the year claimed by Anglo-Dutch outfit Cardano for the eighth successive year.
And the Editor’s Choice Award went to the Wellcome Trust, led by chief investment officer Danny Truell, who with his team has delivered a decade of market-beating performance that provides the cash the trust funnels into medical research.