Many professionals in the financial sector found their reputations tarnished after the instability of the stock market last year, so alumnus Charles Dreifus (’66, MBA ’73) can be especially pleased with the recognition that his integrity and prudence garnered in 2008. The independent investment research firm Morningstar has named Dreifus, portfolio manager and principal of Royce & Associates LLC and a Trustee of The Baruch College Fund, its Domestic-Stock Fund Manager of the Year.
The prestigious award, now in its twentieth year, honors managers who have demonstrated extraordinary skill in guiding their clients’ investments on a long-term basis. Morningstar singled out Dreifus for curtailing “risk by investing in companies with clean accounting and strong balance sheets.”
“Every portfolio should have at least one fund like [Royce Special Equity Fund]. When times get tough… Dreifus’ portfolios are an oasis of calm,” wrote Morningstar about his nomination in November.
“I’m very honored to have won. It’s particularly noteworthy that this accolade comes during such a difficult year,” said Dreifus. “I believe very strongly in the discipline I’ve developed and the approach I’ve used over the years. I continue to adhere to the same principles and methodology. If anything, I’ve become even stricter in my selection standards, in order to take account of the greater uncertainty and lack of visibility.”
The Morningstar award’s appreciation of his emphasis on accounting integrity is particularly fitting for Dreifus, who is a longtime supporter of programs in curricular ethics at Baruch College. His main project, the Charles Dreifus Ethics-Across-the-Curriculum Initiative, co-sponsors the College’s annual Ethics Week programming.
Ethics Week revolves around conversations about principles and integrity in business and academia, and culminates in the awarding of the Abraham J. Briloff Prizes in Ethics. The award was named for Abraham Briloff, Emmanuel Saxe Distinguished Professor of Accountancy Emeritus and a legendary figure often described as the “conscience of accounting.”
“He was—and is—my mentor,” said Dreifus. “I owe a lot to him. He showed me a path for interpreting financial statements. Abe brought it to life vividly and dramatically. This Morningstar award honors not only me, but also is a tribute to Professor Briloff and Baruch College.”