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Top Managers to Debate Foreign Hot Spots

Is the Greek meltdown an opportunity or a value trap?

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If you're interested in foreign-stock funds or overseas investing in general, you should note that the 2010 Morningstar Investment Conference, which opens Wednesday, includes two breakout sessions with top international managers. Daniel O'Keefe of Artisan Partners, Philippe Brugere-Trelat of Mutual Series, and Rob Gensler of T. Rowe Price will be discussing stock-picking across the globe and this year's challenging environment in a breakout session Thursday morning. And Mark Yockey of Artisan Funds, Brent Lynn of Janus, and Wendy Trevisani of Thornburg Funds will be providing insights on different ways to approach foreign stocks as well as the current investment conditions overseas in another breakout session Thursday afternoon. (For more information on these breakout sessions as well as the overall conference agenda please click here.)

Great Global Minds Think Alike
Even managers who employ similar strategies often differ on the attractiveness of specific markets, sectors, and stocks, and the three skippers on the global panel use a diverse mix of styles. Although both O'Keefe and Brugere-Trelat follow all-cap value disciplines, the former typically doesn't invest in highly leveraged or distressed companies, buy bonds, or hedge currency exposure, while the latter regularly does all three. Gensler, on the other hand, relies on a pretty bold growth style that focuses on firms with sustainable competitive edges. Thus, there's considerable reason to expect lots of interesting back and forth among the three managers on the current investing climate around the world.

Indeed, the impact of the debt-related problems in Greece and other European countries, the weakness of the euro, and related issues are sure to be a prominent point of discussion at this breakout session, and there's ample evidence to suggest that the managers don't agree on the opportunity set in Europe these days.  Mutual Global Discovery  (TEDIX) had roughly 60% of its assets invested in Europe at last count, while  Artisan Global Value (ARTGX) had approximately 39% of its portfolio invested there, and  T. Rowe Price Global Stock (PRGSX) had only about 23% of assets in the region.

William Samuel Rocco does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.