What You Need to Know
- Guy Pope of Columbia Threadneedle takes the Large Cap Equity category honors.
- Portfolio success starts with looking for stocks in bottom third of 52-week trading range, he says.
Title: Senior Portfolio Manager
Years with present firm: 28
Years in financial services: 28
Investment/asset class focus: Large Cap U.S. Equity
Asset management firm: Columbia Threadneedle Investments
Firm headquarters: Boston
Year firm founded: 1985
Number of employees: 2,000
AUM as of March 31, 2021: $564 billion
Pessimism is the key to success at the Columbia Contrarian Core SMA. The actively managed fund, which won the Envestnet/Investment Advisor 2021 award for Best Large Cap Equity fund manager, topping 90 peers, had a 23.1% return in 2020, beating the Russell 1000 index by 2.1 percentage points.
What Guy Pope, head portfolio manager of the fund, means by “pessimism” is that they are looking for stocks trading in the bottom third of the 52-week range high. Most people get excited when CNBC talks about stocks hitting 52-week highs, “[and] optimism is fine, but that’s not where we want to start,” he says.
With his team, Harvey Liu, Nick Smith and Michael Welter — and a support group of fundamental analysts, industry experts and quantitative pros — Pope defines those pessimistic stocks by looking through a prism. For example, if a stock starts at $100 and after several events drops to $50, that’s when they get interested. It’s also been “de-risked,” Pope says, noting that it doesn’t have much further to fall.