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10 best fund managers of 2018 – The factor that holds the key to a successful investment

31 July 2020

While investing in mutual funds, you should look for a fund managers experience and qualification, among others things.

This approach will help you know the person who is responsible for managing your hard earned money.

While the market has shown amazing performance in 2017, it has suffered a similar degree of volatility and uncertainty in 2018.

Amidst this, some fund managers have performed well and have ensured that the loss during down market is constrained.

Remember, a good fund manager is one who can constrain your losses in the down market. A manager’s efficiency is typically measured by upward capture and downward capture.

Let us now help you get acquainted with some of the best fund managers of 2018.

These ranking have taken into consideration multiple parameters such as stability of returns, upside and downside capture, number of funds managed, outperformance concerning benchmark and category average, market risk, investment philosophy, and process.

Best Fund Managers 2018 – Large-Cap Segment

These funds invest predominantly in large-cap stocks.

These funds are stable funds within large-cap space and tend to provide stable returns.

These funds primarily invest in companies that have a proven track record and business model and are operational in the segment that is likely to grow at a sustainable rate over time.

Some of the best fund managers within the space are:

Let us cover in detail about the following two fund managers –

1. Neelesh Surana

A qualified engineer, he has completed his MBA and has over 19 years of experience. Neelesh Surana has constantly outperformed his fund benchmarks.

He has a strong focus on stock selection, whereby he and his team adopt a detailed rigorous analysis to select the stocks that form a part of the fund.

Surana is known to spot the businesses that can grow massively over the long-term despite having any short-term shortcoming.

He has maintained a mix of both high growth stocks and value picks in his portfolio. His funds include Mirae Asset Emerging Bluechip Fund, Mirae Asset India Equity Fund, and Mirae Asset Tax Saver Fund.

2. Sohini Andani

This qualified Chartered Accountant is the fund manager at SBI Funds Management Private Limited since May 2010.

She has extensive experience in the field of financial services and has been associated with companies such as ING Investment Management Pvt. Ltd., ASK Raymond James &Associates Pvt. Ltd, LKP Shares & Securities Ltd, Advani Share Brokers Pvt. Ltd, CRISIL, and K R Choksey Shares & Securities Pvt. Ltd.

Some of the funds managed by Sohini are – SBI Bluechip Fund, and SBI Magnum Mid-cap Fund.

3. Harsha Upadhyay

Upadhyay has close to two decades of experience in the investment management industry.

An engineer, and an MBA with a CFA charter holder, Harsha sticks to an investing philosophy across the market environment.

This approach has helped Harsha deliver good alpha over the benchmark. The team focuses on fundamentals and seeks to avoid taking exposure based on day-to-day developments.

Besides, the team aims to stay away from highly leveraged companies. Some of the funds managed are – Kotak Taxsaver Fund, and Kotak Standard Muticap Fund.

4. Mahesh Patil

Patil has over 25-years of experience in the industry.

An engineer with an MMS degree and a CFA charter holder is known to take a cautious, and pragmatic approach in the challenging market environment where divergence in stock price is highly pronounced.

The team sticks to a pure bottom-up stock selection approach that is likely to grow over time adding to the alpha of the portfolio.

A critical characteristic is that Mahesh doesn’t tend to chase any stock that has crossed valuation.

Some of the funds managed are – Aditya Birla Sun Life Focused Equity Fund, Aditya Birla Sun Life Pure Value Fund and Aditya Birla Sun Life Frontline Equity Fund.

Let’s move on to the multi-cap segment.

Best Fund Managers 2018 – Multi-Cap Segment

The Multi-cap segment invests in equity and related instruments across the market capitalization spectrum. Within the space, some of the notable fund managers for the year are

Let us see the detailed profile of Ajay Garg, Mrinal Singh and Jinesh Gopani.

5. Ajay Garg

An engineer and an MBA with over 24 years of experience, Garg spots companies which believe that innovation drives growth.

He has made no mistake in identifying companies that are willing to change and evolve through better research and differentiation.

Ajay strongly believes that the domestic market of India has enormous growth potential and the companies catering to the local market could see healthy growth owing to the rising discretionary spending of its citizens.

Ajay lays significant emphasis on corporate governance and tries to keep a safe distance from a leveraged balance sheet.

Besides, he prefers to diversify his portfolio to reduce concentration risk.

Some of the funds managed by him are – Aditya Birla Sun Life Tax Fund, and Aditya Birla Sun Life Tax Relief 96 Fund.

6. Mrinal Singh

Mrinal Singh has over 14 years of experience in the investment industry.

Singh, an engineer and an MBA by qualification, has a value investing tilt in his approach. While price and investors’ sentiments are changing, Singh strives to focus on valuation and remains optimistic about earnings growth in India.

He maintains a strict focus on bottom-up stock selection while taking higher deviations related to the index.

Some of the funds managed by him are – ICICI Prudential Focused Equity Fund, ICICI Prudential Midcap Fund, ICICI Prudential Dividend Yield Equity Fund, ICICI Prudential Value Discovery Fund.

7. Jinesh Gopani

Jinesh Gopani is a qualified commerce graduate and holds a Master of Management Studies degree.

With over 15 years of experience, Gopani has had an impressive track record with India’s most well known and biggest tax-saving fund – the Axis Long-term Equity fund.

The approach is simple – to identify secular growth stories and to remain invested for the long-term duration.

As a fund manager, he prefers to stay invested with leaders and potential leaders with a healthy and sustainable business model.

Also, capital preservation remains a critical pillar of his investing framework and he attempts to protect any downward movement.

Some of the funds managed by him are – Axis Long-term Equity Fund and Axis Focused 25 Fund.

Coming to the small and mid-cap space.

Best Fund Managers 2018 – Small and Mid Cap Segment

Small and Mid-cap funds are funds that invest in small-cap and mid-cap stocks.

These funds tend to deliver higher returns on account of high information asymmetry seen in the space. But before you choose to invest in the area,

Let us see the detailed profile of Ajay Garg, Mrinal Singh, and Jinesh Gopani.

8. Janakiraman 

An engineer and an MBA by qualification, Janakiraman have over two decades of experience when it comes to mutual funds.

He believes that cutting down on mistakes in the portfolio helps deliver alpha. With recent correction in the segment, he finds some stocks have become more reasonable.

Earlier, the risk in these stocks was due to price and not the business and currently, the business is rightly priced with correction.

Janakiraman believes that a portfolio built around quality, growth, and sustainability over the long-term, will generate considerable alpha.

Some of the funds managed are – Franklin India Prima Fund and Franklin India Smaller Companies Fund.

9. S.N. Lahiri

Mr. Soumendra Nath Lahiri serves as the  Chief Investment Officer of Investment Management at L&T Finance Holdings Ltd. and has an experience of over 17 years in the Indian market.

Before L&T, he has worked with Canara Robeco Asset Management Company Ltd., Emkay Investment Managers Ltd., Dolat Investments Limited, Fortuna Capital, DSP Merill Lynch Investment Managers Private Limited.

Lahiri holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from IIM Bangalore and a BE degree in Mechanical Engineering.

Some of the funds managed are – L&T Equity Fund, L&T Tax Advantage Fund, L&T Large & Midcap Fund, L&T Emerging Businesses Fund, and L&T Infrastructure Fund.

Mr. Lahiri also manages the equity component of L&T Hybrid Equity Fund and L&T Dynamic Equity Fund and co-manages the L&T Midcap Fund.

10. Anoop Bhaskar

Anoop Bhaskar has over 23 years of experience in the Indian market.

He holds an MBA and Bachelor in Commerce degree. Bhaskar takes a conservative approach and has maintained a portfolio with low beta (read volatility), thereby ensuring downside protection.

In addition to diversification in his portfolio, Anoop emphasizes a lot on the liquidity position that can withhold stress. Bhaskar tries to search for leaders in small sectors that are not part of frontline indices.

Some of the funds managed are – IDFC Core Equity Fund, IDFC Multicap Fund, and IDFC Sterling Value Fund.


Now that you know about the best fund managers of 2018, in various categories like, large-cap, mid-cap and small-cap, you can take an informed decision based on your risk appetite and ideal investment duration.

If you have any query regarding mutual fund investments, you can simply drop us an email at [email protected] or you can even contact us on our Customer Success number, which is: 9108800604. Our team will be happy to help you!

Happy Investing!

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this post are that of the author and not those of Groww


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