The fund awards portion of the gala covers a variety of different product categories:
- Mutual/Segregated funds
- Exchange-traded funds
- Hedge funds
- Pooled funds
There are separate juries devoted to each product type, and the various awards for each product type are decided upon by the respective juries. Any fund that meets certain criteria is eligible to win an award. The eligibility requirements will be clearly detailed for each product type.
The awards process includes five distinct stages:
Initial Quantitative Screening Criteria
Analysts are responsible for ensuring their nominations meet the eligibility requirements. Final results will be vetted by the audit committee to ensure all winners and runners up meet the criteria.
Analysts submit, at most, three nominees for each category.
Analysts must provide rationale to support each nomination.
Analyst Open Forum Discussion
Analysts hold an open forum discussion (or a series of them) to identify any nominated funds that do not meet the eligibility requirements and decide on issues that require judgment. For example, if one member of a management team leaves, does this breach the eligibility criteria that states the same management team must be in place over the past three years?
Analysts will then have an opportunity to question the suitability of any of the nominated funds.
Analysts submit their final votes for each category, once again providing rationale for their submission.
Audit Committee Final Review
Audit committee does a last check to ensure all funds meet the eligibility requirements. It also ensures all company/fund names are stated correctly.
The various juries consist of analysts from across the fund industry. Each jury member is an expert in his or her field and, as such, is free to evaluate the eligible funds in their own framework. However, Morningstar offers the following guidelines for the issues jury members should consider when voting. It is important to note that these are guidelines only, and committee members can consider relevant issues that are not listed and can weigh the following issues as they see fit.
- Absolute performance
- Relative performance
- Risk/return profile (relative to a benchmark or peer group)
- Style consistency
- Tax efficiency
- Investment objective/product structure
- Capacity constraints