A fund manager is a person appointed by a fund house to manage a Mutual fund scheme and is responsible for making investment decisions based on his research and analysis for the fund. Most of us don’t even bother checking who the fund manager is before investing. If you are like most of the other investors you are guilty of only looking at what the past returns look like. But it is prudent to have some knowledge of the fund manager as it is his experience and superior skills in stock selection that is going to earn us good returns.

So today, in RankMF Knowledge Centre, we will cover the topic of Top Mutual Fund Managers in India. We have ranked fund managers on key criteria mentioned below to come up with the list. These fund managers have not let the volatile markets detract them from their core investing principles. They have remained focused on building a strong portfolio of quality businesses that can deliver healthy returns over long periods of time. Through this article, readers will get to know about the following:


  • Who is a Fund Manager?
  • What role does a Fund Manager play in managing your funds?
  • How important a Fund Manager’s role is?
  • Top Fund Managers in India which include;
  1. Qualification
  2. Experience
  3. Schemes managed and its performance
  4. Performance vs. its benchmark


Let’s start with who is fund manager and what are his roles.


1. Who is a Fund Manager?


A fund manager is a key person who manages the portfolio of a mutual fund scheme. Returns of any mutual fund scheme are dependent on the skills and income generating capability of the fund manager. It’s the duty of the fund manager to implement the fund’s investment strategy and to manage the fund’s portfolio. As per the investment objective of the prospected mutual fund scheme, an Asset Management Company (AMC) appoints a fund manager for every scheme. The fund manager conducts proper research and decides in which shares and other securities the funds of the scheme would be invested, such as equity shares, government securities, commercial papers, corporate debentures, bonds, treasury bills, and other similar securities, as per the investment mandate of the fund. He monitors the markets, economic trends and tracks securities in order to make informed investment decisions and generate returns for the investors.


2. What role a Fund Manager plays in managing your funds?

The fund manager has a plethora of roles and responsibilities. Let’s understand deeply, what are the tasks to be performed by him in order to effectively manage a fund.

a) Constantly tracking the markets:

The primary role of any fund manager is to preserve the money invested by investors. Prudent investors are aware that funds must take some risks to deliver growth but they do not expect reckless behavior. Therefore, fund manager’s choices to buy or sell assets are backed by a lot of research on the market trends, underlying securities, due diligence, and current economic scenarios. This involves in-depth research and analysis of various companies and sectors, monitoring of the movement in the securities in which fund invests, attending industry events and exercising risk management procedures to evaluate the investments. The fund manager also takes care that fund’s investment portfolio is sufficiently diversified in stocks of various companies across different sectors, in order to avoid the extra risk of underperformance by a couple of stocks or a sector.

b) Managing the fund while adhering to regulatory compliance:

Fund managers must ensure that their fund’s reporting requirements are met as per rules and regulations described market regulator SEBI and trustees of the trust company. Funds are designed with different strategies and objectives and carry different structures, risks, and expenses. The investment objective of the fund must be clearly stated in the fund’s prospectus as this is the most important information for the investors, regulators and other stakeholders in order to make decisions. Fund managers are responsible for ensuring that prospectus and other documents are completed, filed and distributed as required by the regulatory standards.

c) Generating growth and return in the fund:

We, as investors, invest in mutual funds to earn good returns. A fund manager is the key decision maker who decides where and how to invest this pooled money in order to maximize the gain for the investors as per the investment objective of the fund. Their investment preferences are molded not only by the rules and regulations applicable to the fund, but also by expectations of the investors. Fund managers are judged by how well their fund performs as compared to its benchmark and its peers. And therefore, every fund manager is ranked each quarter as per the performance delivered by the fund managed by them. Hence, it’s a fiduciary responsibility of a fund manager to manage the fund in such a way that fund is at least able to give returns which exceed the real inflation and returns from a traditional savings account and fixed deposits to justify the risk taken with the investor’s money.


3. How important is a Fund Manager’s role?

A good fund manager will not only have access to timely information, strategies, trading ideas, experienced in-house team, he will also have sound investment principles about investing in markets which will ensure your money is being managed professionally.

  1. Fund managers are qualified professionals who have knowledge of sophisticated financial products and how to make money from them. It is their invaluable experience in money management, extensive contacts in the investment industry and access to detailed information, which together with in-house expertise, allows them to make informed timely decisions on behalf of investors.
  2. Fund managers give your investment full-time attention. They track it regularly, study markets and research stocks, take advantage of investment opportunities, buy/sell securities, collect income, dividends; and do all the paperwork for you.
  3. Fund managers use a wide variety of strategies such as multi-asset investing. They can invest across geographies (if the investment mandate allows) and broaden your investment horizon. You also gain access to a variety of investments that you may have not been able to invest in as an individual.
  4. Fund managers charge nominal fees for managing investors’ funds in comparison to what you would be charged if you would undertake similar trades. They buy and sell large amounts of investments on a regular basis and thereby can negotiate much lower transaction costs. If you would attempt to manage an active, multi-asset portfolio you would face substantial costs.

This is how you can majorly benefit from having a fund manager manage your funds. Now, let’s delve deep into which fund managers have performed well as compared to others in recent times. We have gathered data from various fund managers in terms of the following criteria.


Criteria on which Fund Managers are ranked:
  1. The study was restricted to open-ended, actively managed, diversified equity funds. Index, thematic, sector, passive and balanced funds were eliminated.
  2. Only schemes with a corpus of at least Rs 250 crore were taken into consideration.
  3. Fund performance was looked over the period of 5 years using the annualized 5-year returns.
  4. Only those funds which had a buy recommendation on RankMF based on our ranking parameters for evaluating mutual funds were considered.
  5. For a fund to qualify, the fund manager needed a minimum 2 years of qualified experience with the fund as lead manager and this study was restricted to fund managers cumulatively managing an AUM of at least Rs 250 crores, across all qualifying funds.
  6. After filtering fund managers on these criteria, the aggregate returns generated by each fund manager were calculated over the 5-year period for various categories as mentioned below.


4. Top Fund Managers in India

Fund Manager Fund House Qualification Experience Scheme managed Returns Scheme Performance vs. benchmark
Large Cap:
Prashant Jain HDFC Mutual Fund


B.Tech (IIT, Kanpur),  PGDM (IIM,

Bangalore), CFA

22+ years HDFC Top 100 Fund – Regular Plan – Growth 3 Year: 16.77%

5Year: 15.19%

Beat S&P BSE SENSEX – TRI only once in past 5 years
Mahesh Patil Aditya Birla Sun Life AMC Limited B.E. (Electrical),  MMS (JBIMS), CFA (ICFAI) 20+ years Aditya Birla Sun Life Frontline Equity Fund – Growth 3 Year: 13.40%

5Year: 15.04%

Beat NIFTY 50 – TRI only once in past 5 years
Shreyash Devalkar Axis AMC Limited Bachelors in Chemical Engineering and PGDM (JBIMS) 16+ years Axis Bluechip Fund – Growth 3 Year: 15.08%

5Year: 14.79%

Beat NIFTY 50 – TRI every year in past 5 years
Abhijeet Dey BNP Paribas AMC B.E.(Mechanical), Masters degree in Management Studies 19+ years BNP Paribas Large Cap Fund – Growth 3 Year: 10.88%

5Year: 14.47%

Beat S&P BSE SENSEX – TRI only once in past 5 years
Swati kulkarni UTI AMC  Limited B.Com,  Masters in Financial Management (NMIMS), CFA, CAIIB 27 years UTI Mastershare Unit Scheme – Growth Plan 3 Year: 12.86%

5Year: 13.98%

Beat S&P BSE 100 only once in past 5 years
Multi Cap:
Anil Shah Aditya Birla Sun Life AMC Limited B.Com, C.A., Cost Accountant 25+ years Aditya Birla Sun Life AMC Limited 3 Year: 16.92%

5 Year: 18.97%

Beat S&P BSE 200 thrice in past 5 years
Anup Upadhyay SBI Funds Management Pvt. Ltd. B.Tech (IIT Karagpur),  PGDM (IIM Lucknow),  CFA 11+ years SBI Magnum Multicap Fund – Growth 3 Year: 16.92%

5 Year: 18.97%

Beat S&P BSE 500 twice in past 5 years
Harsha Upadhyay


Kotak Mahindra Asset Management Company Limited B.E Mechancial, PGDM (IIM Lucknow) & CFA 20+ years Kotak Standard Multicap Fund -Growth 3 Year: 16.25%

5 Year: 18.93%

Beat NIFTY 50 – TRI twice in past 5 years
Neelesh Surana Mirae Asset Global Investment Management (India) Private Limited B.E (Mechnaical), M.B.A (Finance) 19+ years Mirae Asset India Equity Fund – Regular – Growth 3 Year: 17.33%

5 Year: 18.92%

Beat S&P BSE 200 4 times in past 5 years
Anand Radhakrishnan Franklin Templeton Asset Management (India) Private Limited B.Tech,  PGDM (IIM, Ahmedabad), CFA 20+ years Franklin India Equity Fund – Growth 3 Year: 12.15%

5 Year: 16.71%

Beat NIFTY 500 twice in past 5 years
Mid Cap:
Pankaj Tibrewal Kotak Mahindra Asset Management Company Limited B.Com, Masters degree in Finance (Manchester University, UK) 15+ years Kotak Emerging Equity Scheme -Growth 3 Year: 15.59%

5 Year: 23.48%

Beat NIFTY midcap 100 every year in past 5 years
R. Janakiraman Franklin Templeton Asset Management (India) Private Limited Bachelor of Engineering,  PGDM (IIM, Bangalore), CFA 13+ years Franklin India Prima Fund – Growth 3 Year: 14.42%

5 Year: 21.69%

Beat NIFTY 50 – TRI twice in past 5 years
Pranav Gokhale Invesco Asset Management Company Pvt.  Limited M.Com,  Chartered Accountant 14 years Invesco India Midcap Fund – Growth 3 Year: 14.31%

5 Year: 21.10%

Beat Nifty Midcap 100 each year for the last 5 years
Vinit Sambre


DSP Investment Managers Private Limited B.Com, Chartered Accountant 16+ years DSP Midcap Fund – Regular Plan – Growth 3 Year: 15.54%

5 Year: 21.10%

Beat NIFTY midcap 100 every year in past 5 years
Shreyas Devalkar Axis Asset Management Company Ltd Bachelors in Chemical Engineering and PGDM (JBIMS) 16+ years Axis Mid Cap Fund – Growth Plan 3 Year: 15.08%

5 Year: 20.61%

Beat S&P BSE Mid-Cap thrice in past 5 years
Large & Mid Cap:
Dhimant Shah Principal Asset Management Company Private Limited B.Com, ACA 20+ years Principal Emerging Bluechip Fund Regular Plan Growth 3 Year: 17.73%

5 Year: 22.99%

Beat NIFTY 50 – TRI thrice in past 5 years
Satyabrata Mohanty Aditya Birla Sun Life AMC Limited B.Com, C.A., CFA 12+ years Aditya Birla Sun Life Equity Advantage Fund – Growth-regular Plan 3 Year: 12.90%

5 Year: 17.09%

Beat S&P BSE 200 twice in 5 years
Saurabh Pant SBI Funds Management Private Limited B.Com,  Masters Degree in Business Economics 11 years SBI Large & Midcap Fund Regular -Growth 3 Year: 13.60%

5 Year: 16.74%

Beat S&P BSE 200 twice in 5 years
Harsha Upadhyaya Kotak Mahindra Asset Management Company Limited B.E Mechancial, PGDM (IIM Lucknow),  CFA 20+ years Kotak Equity Opportunities Fund-growth 3 Year: 15.31%

5 Year: 16.54%

Beat NIFTY 50 – TRI twice in past 5 years
Amit Ganatra Invesco Asset Management Company Pvt.  Limited B.Com, Chartered Accountant, CFA 15 years Invesco India Growth Opportunities Fund – Growth 3 Year: 15.77%

5 Year: 16.21%

Beat NIFTY 50 – TRI twice in past 5 years

(Source – RankMF as on 23/01/19)

On RankMF mutual funds are given rankings on the basis of a variety of factors and over 20 million data points apart from the past performance of the scheme. Thereby the RankMF algorithm objectively and scientifically evaluates all funds and it grades most securities invested in by mutual fund in India giving a thumbs up and thumbs down signal in the portfolio section of each fund scheme. The above-mentioned fund managers have not only been consistently performing well over the period of last 5 years but also have a thumbs up (buy recommendation) signal for their scheme based on our proprietary ratings. With the continuous growth of the mutual funds’ industry in our country by every passing day, a mutual fund is a very good platform to transform your hard earned money into a fortune over a period of time to fulfill all your financial aspirations.

With this, we conclude our discussion on Top Fund Managers in India. For more information about investing in mutual funds, stock trading and useful related articles, visit RankMF.com or our investor education center.

(Note: This content is for information purpose only. Avoid trading and investing based on the information given above. Before investing in stocks or mutual funds, please conduct proper due diligence).


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *