Mark Giovanniello Title: Chief Investment Officer, Portfolio Manager Years with present firm: 10 years Years in financial services: 23 years Investment/asset class focus: Small/mid cap strategies
Asset Management Firm: Copeland Capital Management LLC Firm’s headquarters: Conshohocken, Pennsylvania Year firm was founded: 2005 Number of employees and/or partners: 23 employees, 18 of whom are partners Assets under management/advisement as of Dec. 31, 2018: $2.8 billion
Copeland Capital Management’s small cap down-market dividend growth strategy wasn’t bothered by the volatility of 2018. “It’s a time when just being in dividend growth stocks” allows the portfolio to shine, since “the names we invest in have great resilience,” according to Chief Investment Officer Mark Giovianello.
The portfolio manager adds that the strategy performed particularly well in the fourth quarter, when it outperformed the benchmark by 700 basis points. This helped the strategy win the 2019 Asset Manager Award in the small- and mid-cap category.
The down-market cap strategy has generated “excess returns in a variety of market environment,” Envestnet analysts say. “Copeland also offered a clearly defined alpha thesis, which they executed with a disciplined approach in 2018, and their investors reaped the benefits.”
What makes the firm’s strategy different is that it invests in dividend growth securities, “not just in the mega cap blue chip stocks, [or] large caps, but down in small and mid-cap stocks, even in international dividend growth strategies,” Giovanniello says.
The firm was founded in 2005 with an initial strategy of large cap dividend growth. When Giovanniello and several other managers joined it in 2009, “We had the idea to start participating in dividend growth strategy down-market cap,” which he says differentiated Copeland from other strategists.