What is a Mutual Fund Manager and How to Evaluate One?

Understand the role of mutual fund managers, the top 8 in India, factors to consider when choosing one, and the qualities of the best ones out there.

Mutual funds don’t need an introduction as they are one of the most popular investment options. They offer various benefits to investors, the key advantage being the professional management of funds. That’s right; a mutual fund is managed by a mutual fund manager, who is considerably responsible for your fund’s performance and your portfolio over time. In this article, let’s learn about the role of fund managers, the qualities of the best ones, and factors to remember while choosing one.

Who is a Mutual Fund Manager?

Many investors don’t have the expertise, time, and resources to manage their investments actively, so they rely on fund managers to make informed investment decisions. As the name suggests, a mutual fund manager is the one who manages your (investor’s) mutual funds. The role of a mutual fund manager is to make investment decisions on your behalf such that your fund performs well.

They carefully analyse market conditions, economic trends, and individual securities to identify opportunities that align with the fund’s investment objectives. Based on their expertise and research, they allocate the fund’s assets across various investment options to maximise returns while managing risk. 

All in all, fund managers offer professional guidance and operate the fund to achieve the objectives while considering factors such as investment objective, risk tolerance, and investment horizon.

10 Best Mutual Fund Managers in India 

Mutual Fund Manager Name of the fund AUM of the manager (Rs. in crore) Expense Ratio CAGR 10Y (in %) CAGR 5Y (in %)
Vikash Agarwal HDFC Money Market Fund 49,573.34 0.21 69.91 6.36
Amit Somani Tata Liquid Fund 36,488.80 0.21 69.16 5.34
Abhishek Sonthalia Tata Liquid Fund 28,169.57 0.21 69.16 5.34
Anupam Joshi HDFC Liquid Fund 1,10,944.44 0.2 69.05 5.26
Swapnil Jangam HDFC Liquid Fund 50,753.25 0.2 69.05 5.26
Rahul Dedhia Edelweiss Liquid Fund 49,098.29 0.15 69.04 5.40
Pranavi Kulkarni Edelweiss Liquid Fund 2,359.57 0.15 69.04 5.40
Amit Sharma UTI Overnight Fund 45,677.89 0.07 68.23 4.69
Anil Bamboli HDFC Overnight Fund 1,18,415.40 0.1 67.78 4.64
Samir Rachh Nippon India Small Cap Fund 26,293.50 0.82 28.27 20.13


Note: The fund managers listed above are sorted as per the 10-yr CAGR of the funds managed by them and the data is as of 5th June 2023. 

Vikash Agarwal

Vikash Agarwal completed his B.Com and is a CA and CFA. Previously, he worked at Larsen & Toubro Ltd. He has over 15 years of experience in financial services. 

Amit Somani

Amit Somani has been part of Tata Asset Management since June 2010 as a credit analyst. Since September 2012, he has worked as a Credit Analyst and fund manager. He has over 12 years of experience. 

Abhishek Sonthalia

Abhishek Sonthalia has 11 years of experience in macroeconomics, credit research and analysis. He joined Tata Asset Management as Credit Analyst/AVP Credit tracking all leading sectors and macro-economics research in December 2013. Previously, he worked at CRISIL. 

Anupam Joshi

Anupam Joshi holds experience of more than 10 years in Portfolio Management and Dealing. Previously he worked with PNB Asset Management Company, ICAP India, and Asit C. Mehta Investment Intermediates. 

Swapnil Jangam

Swapnil Jangam completed his B.Com, CA and CFA Level III. Before HDFC Mutual Fund, he worked with EY and M.P. Chitale and Co. He has over 14 years of experience. 

Rahul Dedhia

Rahul Dedhia has experience of over 9 years in the financial markets. He worked at Alka Securities, LKP, Peerless Fund Management Company, Deutsche Asset Management, and DHFL Pramerica Mutual Fund

Pranavi Kulkarni

Pranavi Kulkarni did her Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Science and later pursued MBA in Finance. Before Edelweiss Mutual Fund, she has experience at CRISIL and Yes Bank. Overall, she has about 12 years of experience. 

Amit Sharma

Amit Sharma did his B.Com and CA. He joined UTI Mutual Fund in 2008 and has been part of the fund management for the last 4 years.

Anil Bamboli

Anil Bamboli has an experience of more than 16 years in fund management and research in Fixed Income. He joined HDFC AMC in July 2003 and has been part of the company since then. Previously he was Asst Vice President in SBI Funds Management.

Samir Rachh

Samir Rachh has an experience of 16+ years. He is the Assistant Fund Manager of Reliance Long-term Equity Fund in Reliance Asset Management Limited.

Factors to Remember While Evaluating a Fund Manager

  1. Track record: Review the fund manager’s track record and performance over time. Look for consistent returns, especially in various market conditions. Assess their ability to outperform relevant benchmarks and peer funds. However, it’s important to remember that past performance does not guarantee future results.
  2. Investment strategy: Different managers have varying approaches, such as growth-oriented, value-focused, or income-generating strategies. Ensure the manager’s style aligns with your investment goals and risk tolerance.
  3. Experience: Consider the fund manager’s experience and expertise in the relevant asset class or market segment. Look for managers with a proven track record in managing funds similar to the one you are considering. Assess their educational background, professional certifications, and any specialised knowledge they possess.
  4. Risk management: Evaluate the fund manager’s approach to risk management. A good fund manager should have strategies in place to mitigate downside risk and protect investors’ capital. 
  5. Transparency: The fund managers should provide clear and timely information about the fund’s performance, holdings, and any changes in the investment strategy. Look for managers who are accessible and responsive to investor inquiries.
  6. Fees: Fund managers charge management fees, which are typically a percentage of the fund’s assets under management. Compare fees among similar funds to ensure they are reasonable and competitive.
  7. Fund size: Evaluate the size of the fund and the fund manager’s ability to handle the Assets Under Management (AUM) effectively. Extremely large funds may face challenges in maintaining performance due to liquidity constraints or difficulty finding suitable investment opportunities.

What are the Qualities of the Best Fund Managers?

  1. Strong investment expertise and deep understanding of financial markets.
  2. A disciplined and consistent approach to investment management.
  3. Effective risk management skills and focus on preserving capital.
  4. Strong research and analytical capabilities for informed decision-making.
  5. Timely execution of investment decisions with consideration for transaction costs.
  6. Clear communication and transparency with investors.
  7. Long-term focus and ability to identify sustainable investment opportunities.
  8. Continuous learning and adaptability to evolving market conditions.


What is the role of a mutual fund manager?

The role of a mutual fund manager is to make investment decisions on behalf of the investors. They carefully analyse the market conditions and individual funds to maximise returns while managing risk.

Who are the best mutual fund managers in India?

The top 5 best mutual fund managers in India are Vikash Agarwal, Amit Somani, Abhishek Sonthalia, Anupam Joshi and Swapnil Jangam. The fund managers listed here are based on their fund’s 10-yr CAGR as of 5th June 2023. 

What is the difference between passive and active fund managers?

In the case of active fund managers, they actively change the fund’s composition based on market trends and stock performance. On the other hand, passive fund managers track the movements of benchmark indices.

What is the educational background of a fund manager?

Typically, a mutual fund manager typically holds a bachelor’s degree like B.Com, BBM, BBA or an equivalent degree in finance and management. Holding an MBA in Finance is considered to be a good add-on.