Macro: Portfolio Strategy
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Macro: Portfolio Strategy

After spending last year in second place, François Trahan of ISI Group reclaims the top spot. Trahan, 39, “does the best strategy work, by a long shot — not ­only has his research proven prescient, it is ­also original in its orientation,” says one buy-side ­backer.

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François Trahan


François Trahan ISI


SECOND TEAM


Michael Goldstein Empirical


THIRD TEAM


David Bianco UBS


RUNNERS-UP


Richard Bernstein Merrill Lynch ; Abhijit Chakrabortti Morgan Stanley ; David Kostin Goldman Sachs ; Tobias Levkovich ­Citi ; Jason Trennert Strategas


After spending last year in second place, François Trahan of ISI Group reclaims the top spot. Trahan, 39, “does the best strategy work, by a long shot — not ­only has his research proven prescient, it is ­also original in its orientation,” says one buy-side ­backer. In January, Trahan reversed his long-­standing preference for emerging markets. “I warned of ­very difficult times for emerging markets and said the U.S. would be the best of a bad lot,” he says. Trahan’s advice, although controversial ­given emerging markets’ outperformance at the time, turned out to be correct: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index had outpaced emerging markets by 16.5 percentage points through mid-­September. Down one notch to second place is Michael Goldstein of Empirical Research Partners; he is also No. 1 in Quantitative Research. In January, Goldstein ­noted that the free cash flow yield on health care stocks was 140 basis points above that of consumer staples — the widest spread since the 1950s — and he recommended health care as a good defensive play. In mid-­September the sector was ahead of the broad market by 7.2 percentage points. “Mike sets the standard for strategists — nobody does more insightful analysis,” marvels one supporter. David Bianco debuts in third. The UBS strategist told investors that despite the carnage in financial sectors, the industrial side of the U.S. economy remained strong and would likely continue to enjoy growth; in January he reiterated his overweight stance on the sector. By mid-­September it had outperformed the broad market by 3.9 percentage points. “David does excellent work on breaking down the S&P 500 earnings outlook by sector,” cheers one ­investor.


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