Energy – Utilities: Second
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Energy – Utilities: Second

Christopher Kuplent & team

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Down one level to second place is Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s six-member crew in London captained by newcomer Christopher Kuplent, who replaced Eric Lopez in June. “I’m a big fan of Chris’s,” says one New York–based portfolio manager. “He’s clear and pragmatic in the ways he tries to make money in an impossible sector.” The team, which tracks 30 stocks, named National Grid its top pick for 2012 and again this year, citing the U.K.-based gas distributor’s earnings visibility, dividend growth and stable regulatory environment, among other factors. National Grid shares surged 16.8 percent last year. — Ben Mattlin

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