Rowe Price analysts named the best

3 T.

Investor magazine lists them in top 11 `buyside' experts

November 22, 2001|By Bill Atkinson | Bill Atkinson,SUN STAFF

Three T. Rowe Price Associates Inc. analysts have been named the best in their field in a survey conducted by Institutional Investor Magazine.

The analysts are: Robert N. Gensler, the portfolio manager of the T. Rowe Price Media & Telecommunications Fund; Anna Dopkin, portfolio manager of the T. Rowe Price Financial Services Fund; and Art Cecil, a research analyst who has been with the company for 33 years.

Eleven experts in all were selected by their peers as "The Best of the Buyside" analysts in the magazine's annual survey, which is appearing in this month's issue.

"It is a nice honor," said William J. Stromberg, director of equity research at the Baltimore mutual fund company. "These are three people who are very bright, very focused, very hard-working. The work ethic of the three individuals is truly outstanding, they have ... helped us make very good decisions in their sectors."

Buyside analysts work for mutual fund companies or hedge funds. While they rely heavily on their own internal research to make investment decisions, they also "buy" research on publicly traded companies generated by other firms, such as Wall Street brokerage houses.

"For me, emotionally it is great," said Gensler, 44. "It is ... recognition by our peers."

Gensler's Media & Telecommunications Fund has been the top-performing fund in its sector over the past five years, according to Lipper Inc., a fund rating firm.

Morningstar, the Chicago company that tracks the mutual fund industry, gives it five stars, its best rating. While the fund is down 10 percent year to date, it is still well ahead of the Nasdaq Telecommunications Index, which is down nearly 48 percent, year to date.

Gensler attributes the performance to seeing the collapse in telecommunication stocks before other analysts. "I got bearish and cautious before more than any of my competitors," Gensler said.

For Dopkin, 34, it is the second consecutive year that she has been named to the magazine's list.

"It is nice to be recognized," she said. "I am trying to work to put out good performance for my fund and the other funds at T. Rowe."

Dopkin, like Gensler, provides research for a number of Price mutual funds. But she also runs Price's Financial Services Fund. Although the fund is down 5.75 percent for the year, it is ahead of the Standard & Poor's 500 Financials Index, which is down more than 12 percent. The fund also receives Morningstar's highest rating.

Dopkin has shown an ability to know when to buy and sell a stock. This past summer, she dumped Providian Financial Corp. when the stock traded in the $40s and $50s. It now trades for about $3 a share.

Cecil has made good calls, too.

Earlier in the year, he recommended buying Procter & Gamble Co. and Clorox Co., which had been beaten down. Both stocks have had strong rebounds.

Cecil, who is 59, specializes in consumer companies. He provides his research to a number of Price's largest funds, which include the Blue Chip Growth Fund, Growth & Income Fund and the Equity Income Fund.

But Cecil is taking the award in stride.

"It doesn't have any particular meaning beyond an inward sense that it is nice to have other professionals think that you do a decent job," Cecil said.

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