The stars are shinning bright for Brown Capital Management this year. A small, talented team of portfolio managers propelled the BE 100sâ€™ financial services company to becoming the first minority-owned firm to earn a series of coveted recognitions from Morningstar, the independent investment research and management company.
Brown Capitalâ€™s Small Company Fund received a Morningstar Analyst Rating of Gold, its highest Medalist rating, and a Morningstar Overall Rating of five stars, beating out 660 other Small Growth Funds. One of its criteria is based on the portfolioâ€™s risk-adjusted returns in 2015. And thereâ€™s more good news; Brown Capitalâ€™s International Equity Fund Investor Class also achieved a Morningstar Overall Rating of five-stars, in a category of 694 Foreign Large Blend Funds.
â€œThis is historic!â€ exclaimed Eddie Brown, Founder and CEO of Brown Capital Management, which holds the number four spot on the BE Asset Managers list, with $7.35 billion in assets under management. â€œWeâ€™re very proud to receive this honor and accolade [because] there are thousands of mutual funds in the market place.â€
Andrew Fones, Damien Davis, Robert Hall, Kempton Ingersol and Keith Lee (pictured above l-r), the team behind the Small Company Fund, were also named Morningstarâ€™s U.S. Domestic-Stock Fund Managers of the Year for 2015. Established in 1988, this award recognizes portfolio managers who demonstrated excellent investment skills and consistent courage to capitalize on opportunities that benefit investors.
â€œFor us, the award was the nomination itself,â€ said Lee, Brown Capitalâ€™s President and Chief Operating Officer. â€œThis is a very competitive industry with a lot of very capable, bright people. There are over 10,000 mutual funds out there, and for us to be considered one of four, we were just elated.â€
â€œOur team works somewhat differently than other [investment] teams,â€ Ingersol added, â€œin the sense that one of us might come up with an initial idea, but another team member might actually write the report, and a third team member might actually meet with management. So, itâ€™s very interactive here. There arenâ€™t specifically defined roles, in terms of covering certain types of companies or sectors.â€
Hall, who joined the firm in 1993, said, â€œThe fund is all about creating sustained value over time. We do that by identifying companies that do some very basic things, but they do it in an exceptional manner. Weâ€™re interested in companies that focus on saving lives, time, money, or headaches; or if itâ€™s in the consumer area, providing quick value for the consumer.â€
The industries that have been most successful for the Small Company Fund were technology and specialty chemicals.