Delivering expertise in equity investing

Watch as Steven Gorham, fixed income Portfolio Manager, discusses MFS' expertise in fixed income investments.

Title:Delivering expertise in equity investing

Abstract: A global research platform built on collaboration and diligent bottom-up research to deliver expertise in global equity investing. 


Really in my mind, the global research platform is the biggest competitive advantage we have as an organization. Part of that build, I’ve been very proud to have witnessed over the past 24 years of my time in the organization, is we have slowly and methodically built out research offices around the world, first in London, then in Tokyo, and then spreading further into Asia, across Latin America, and now with a total of nine offices globally. We are truly very well positioned, not only because of the coverage that we have across the globe but the way we’ve built it out organically, slowly, and ensuring that each of those offices as they have grown have been built with the same fundamental research premise that drove our investment process since our founding in 1924.


We all make best decisions, not because we make decisions as a team, but because we open ourselves up to scrutiny from the rest of the team. Penetrating questions about the investment proposition you’ve come up with in a public forum is an extremely powerful tool for making better decisions.


I think that is the single biggest difference between us and some of the other large global asset managers out there. It is a sense of teamwork. It’s not that we have more people. We have a lot of people based on the ground globally. It’s how we work together as teammates. We’re not silos, as you say. It’s not just a European team or an Asian team, with the U.S. team doing their own things, and maybe communicating somehow and making decisions. But it’s really, we live and breathe together. We talk stocks together. We travel together. We visit companies. We’re trying to help each other get to the right decisions on the stocks, wherever they are around the world.


So MFS has an emphasis on bottom-up research, that is, we like the analysts to become the experts in individual industries, and we add value through stock selection in each one of those industries. MFS established one of the first in-house research departments in 1932, and we remain committed to doing bottom-up, company-by-company research.


Of course you have to read the 10k the 10q, the annual report, to understand the company and of course you want to interview the CFA and the CFO, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg, what you really want to do is be thoughtful and say, if I was going to buy that company with my family’s money, what would I do, before I made that decision, and then what you do is very different. You want to visit their stores, you want to visit their suppliers, their customers, and competitors, get as much information as you can to understand the business for real.


And that’s part of the beauty of MFS and part of the beauty of the investment processes. You're constantly learning. And no one person, regardless of how many years of experience you've been in the organization or in the role or responsibility, you've never figured it all out. And often it comes from people who have looked at an industry or a company for the first time, perhaps with ten years of experience, perhaps with three months. And out of that new look, that fresh opinion, often are the best ideas that are generated.

The views expressed are those of the speakers and are subject to change at any time. These views should not be relied upon as investment advice, as securities recommendations, or as an indication of trading intent on behalf of any MFS investment product.

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