Strategies & Capabilities


Fundamental Value Equity

Our Dublin-based Fundamental Value Equity Team manages portfolios of equities that the team believes to be undervalued relative to their long-term earnings power.


Our Expertise


Assets

$5.1B

Equity assets under management*

Professionals

21

On the investment team

Stocks

30-40

In Spotlight strategies


Our Philosophy


We have a clearly defined philosophy of Value which underpins all aspects of our investment approach.


Value

We invest in well-capitalized businesses where the market rating of invested capital does not fully reflect the long-term productivity of that capital. Our team is structured and our process is designed to focus all our efforts on uncovering such opportunities. A significant body of evidence, both academic and empirical, underpins the team’s commitment to the discipline of value investing.


Long Term

We believe one of the reasons that the value premium endures is because shares are not always priced on the basis of their long-term earnings power. Long-term thinking features throughout our process. Our screen considers 10 years of history, our due diligence focuses on through-cycle earnings power and our holding periods are measured in years. We are patient investors.


Fundamental

Low multiples do not always correspond to good value. Detailed financial and fundamental analysis is crucial to our understanding of the long-term earnings power, the capital required to support those earnings, and financial strength of the company in question. Only when we have assessed the quality of a business can we determine whether the price is attractive.


Consistent

To effectively allocate capital on the basis of upside to intrinsic value, valuations must be comparable. Rigor, discipline and consistency are embedded throughout our process. The metrics we employ in our screening process, the accounting adjustments we apply, the financial models we use, and the valuation routines we deploy are all uniform across the process.


Concentrated

We believe that concentrated portfolios drive us to invest in only the most compelling opportunities, while avoiding the perils of over-diversification. We cast a very wide net, carry out detailed research, and then focus our portfolios on the best ideas. All of our Spotlight strategies have a high active share.


Disciplined

We believe the biggest risk we face is overpaying for a security. Our entire process and suite of tools is aimed at mitigating this risk. We aim to buy stocks we deem to be trading at a discount to their long-term intrinsic value. That is our “margin of safety” and that is the best risk control we know.


Our Process


Our quest for value assesses stocks for future earnings power, capital efficiency and the financial flexibility to cope with adversity.

As ‘bottom-up’ value investors, we look for stocks that are cheap based on our assessment of future earnings power, that use capital efficiently to support those earnings, and that enjoy the financial flexibility to cope with adversity. The prerequisite for allocating capital in this way is a consistent approach to research which allows for comparable valuations.

Idea Generation

The main source of ideas for the Fundamental Value strategies is our proprietary screen, which represents a quantitative articulation of our investment approach. The results are augmented by ideas from the analysts and portfolio managers.

Project Scope

Each sector screen is reviewed by the relevant sector team to identify the strongest candidates for due diligence. The team engages with portfolio managers and analysts from other sectors to set priorities and allocate resources.

Incorporating ESG

We introduce third-party data feeds and reports to highlight any material ESG issues. We work to understand the potential impact of ESG on the business model. We assess sustainable earnings power and the capital required to support those earnings. We also engage with both State Street Global Advisors’ Asset Stewardship Team and the company to drive improvement on identified ESG issues.

Due Diligence

Historic financial data is restated consistent with our in-house accounting standards, and analyzed within our standardized financial analysis template. We work to understand the reasons for a company’s success, its current challenges and the response of management. The objective is to determine what we think the long-term earnings power of the business should be, the capital intensity of that earnings stream, and if the financial resources are sufficient for us to conclude the business is sound.

Our proprietary valuation models help us estimate the intrinsic value of the stock based on our research insights. Only then is it determined whether or not to recommend a stock as a candidate for client portfolios.

Peer Appraisal

The lead analyst’s peers subject the conclusions to rigorous review at regular team meetings. This forum allows the analysts to solicit feedback on the investment case, leveraging the knowledge and experience of the entire team. Only then do stocks become eligible investments for our funds.

Portfolio Manager Appraisal

Each strategy has a portfolio manager responsible for its performance. Their “buy discipline” is to select the stocks from the list of eligible investments which have the most upside to fair value, in which they share the analyst’s conviction and which, together, allows for a well-balanced, diversified portfolio.

For our Global Ethical Value Strategy, a filter is applied to the Research Portfolio to eliminate stocks that contravene the ethical guidelines. From the ensuing opportunity set, the Global Ethical Value Strategy of 70–90 stocks is constructed.

Sell Decision

We sell stocks when they reach our price target. Material changes in the price target are rare and tend to be very closely scrutinized. Analysts and portfolio managers are empowered to sell a stock from their respective portfolios if a better idea emerges, or indeed if they believe the fundamentals underpinning an investment case have changed.


Meet the Team


Our team of portfolio managers and research analysts bring deep experience and specialist knowledge to each step of our investment process.

The Fundamental Value Equity Team consists of four portfolio managers supported by a team of 17 research analysts, each specializing in global sectors and industries. On average the team has 19 years of industry experience and 9 years tenure at the firm.


Barry Glavin,
Chief Investment Officer

Barry is the Chief Investment Officer of SSGA’s Dublin-based Fundamental Value Equity Team, having joined the business in 2006. He is also the Portfolio Manager responsible for the International Value Spotlight Strategy.


Brian Routledge,
Head of Portfolio Management

Brian Routledge joined the Fundamental Value Equity Team in January 2007. Brian manages both the Global Spotlight Strategy and USA Spotlight Strategy and is Head of Portfolio Management.


Oliver McClure,
Head of Research

Oliver McClure joined the Fundamental Value Equity Team in January 2012 as a Research Analyst specializing in the global financials sector. He was appointed Head of Research in December 2018.


Our Latest Thinking


Taking Stock - October 2019

Our latest newsletter considers whether the September rise in value stocks represents a sustainable shift in market sentiment, looks at an opportunity in the growing Chinese convenience food market, and asks our Technology team whether value is available in a sector awash with expensive stocks.

Read More

In our latest newsletter, we ask whether already-stretched valuations for large parts of the market can be sustained, consider a value opportunity in the auto sector and question how one assesses value in the healthcare industry.

In a difficult period for value investing we look at the factors driving market performance, and highlight how a competitive advantage "moat" helps companies to repel rivals.

Following a turbulent year, we consider why investors continue to favor expensively-priced stocks and also note that value opportunities appear more prevalent in cyclical sectors.

Resisting the temptation to sell cheap stocks for strong-performing internet-related stocks should be rewarded over time. Also, 10 years on from Lehman, we look at bank valuations.

Footnotes

* As of 30 June 2019