Small Company Growth Strategy
Small Company Growth Strategy

Small Company Growth Strategy

 
 
 
Summary

The Small Company Growth Strategy seeks long-term capital appreciation by investing in high-quality established and emerging companies with capitalizations within the range of companies included in the Russell 2000 Growth Index. To help achieve its objective, the investment team seeks companies with sustainable competitive advantages, strong free-cash-flow yields and favorable returns on invested capital trends. The team focuses on long-term growth rather than short-term events, with their stock selection informed by rigorous fundamental analysis.

>80%
Typical active share
60-80
Typical number of holdings
 
 
Investment Approach
Philosophy

The Growth team believes that it may achieve value-added investment results more consistently through bottom-up analysis and qualitative judgment rather than through top-down forecasting.  Additionally, the team holds that optimal stock selection is primarily a function of making long-term investments in companies with: Inherent sustainable competitive advantages (such as a patent portfolio; a network or community effect, etc.); brand-name recognition; the ability to redeploy capital at high rates of return; and strong free-cash-flow yield three to five years in the future.  These characteristics, in the team's view, provide the potential for consistent long-term growth and competitive returns.

The team believes that the development of insights is valuable to the investment process, and guiding principles combined with intellectual and process flexibility are critical to strong decision-making in pursuit of attractive investments.

 
Differentiators
Culture

The team’s culture is shaped by four core values that are cultivated and reinforced in many ways: intellectual curiosity and flexibility, perspective, self-awareness and partnership.

Reading Network

The team’s reading network includes more than 100 investor and non-investor participants, leverages the distributed knowledge of the firm and encourages cross-disciplinary thinking. Each week the team circulates articles, essays and thought pieces from a wide range of sources outside mainstream Wall Street in order to help enhance its knowledge and inform investment decisions.

Value-added through focus on broader perspective

The investment team analyzes companies across the market-capitalization spectrum, and each team member typically follows more than one industry where the business models are distinctly different.

 
 
 
Investment Process
1
Idea generation

The team generates investment ideas through an ongoing set of activities conducted individually and collaboratively, including: (i) involvement in contact networks across industries and in the investment management business; (ii) its reading network; (iii) its focus on Return On Invested Capital and free-cash-flow yield; (iv) team discussions; (v) the identification of patterns; (iv) conventional-valuation and coverage biases, among others; and (vii) continual research on current company holdings.

2
Bottom-up analysis and valuation

The team narrows its idea generation by seeking stocks that reside in the intersection between its views of a company's business quality, growth quality and risk/reward characteristics.  Valuation focuses on free-cash flow yield three to five years in the future.

3
Disruptive change research

To complement its in-depth, bottom-up research, the team's disruptive change researcher investigates big ideas and emerging themes that typically may have far-reaching consequences, such as nanotech, infrastructure and the global water shortage.

4
Portfolio construction and implementation

The team's portfolios are actively managed and built to maximize expected value.  Company weightings are primarily determined by the quality of the idea and the team's conviction.  Each member of the investment team helps drive stock-picking, with at least two of the three most senior members typically involved in final construction decisions.  The team expects its portfolios to be well-diversified, and reviews factor analysis on a monthly basis in order to ensure the portfolio's risk is more idiosyncratic than systematic.  The team anticipates holding between 60 and 80 securities.

 
 
Investors
Head of Growth Investing
23 years industry experience
Managing Director
29 years industry experience
Managing Director
21 years industry experience
Executive Director
22 years industry experience
Managing Director
20 years industry experience
Managing Director
17 years industry experience
 
 
Insights
Investment Insight
The EDGE: Autonomous Vehicles
Aug 31, 2017
The Growth Team researches autonomous vehicles, which are rapidly progressing from the realm of science fiction to reality and could change our conception of personal transportation.
Investment Insight
The EDGE: Machine Learning
Apr 28, 2017
The Growth Team examines machine learning, a form of artificial intelligence that trains computers to generate insights from data. It has the potential to create efficiencies and new industries.
Investment Insight
The EDGE: CRISPR
Jan 25, 2017
The Growth Team analyzes clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR), a new DNA research tool that has the potential to birth new industries and disrupt medical treatments.
 
 
 
 

RISK CONSIDERATIONS

Diversification does not protect you against a loss in a particular market; however it allows you to spread that risk across various asset classes.

There is no assurance that a strategy will achieve its investment objective. Portfolios are subject to market risk, which is the pos­sibility that the market values of securities owned by the portfolio will decline. Accordingly, you can lose money investing in this strategy. Please be aware that this strategy may be subject to certain additional risks. In general, equity securities’ values also fluctuate in response to activities specific to a company. Stocks of small- and medium-capitalization companies entail special risks, such as limited product lines, markets and financial resources, and greater market volatility than securities of larger, more established companies. Investments in foreign markets entail special risks such as currency, political, economic, and market risks. The risks of investing in emerging market countries are greater than the risks generally associated with investments in foreign developed countries. Privately placed and restricted securities may be subject to resale restrictions as well as a lack of publicly available information, which will increase their illiquidity and could adversely affect the ability to value and sell them (liquidity risk). Derivative instruments may disproportionately increase losses and have a significant impact on performance. They also may be subject to counterparty, liquidity, valuation, correlation and market risks.

 

This communication is only intended for and will be only distributed to persons resident in jurisdictions where such distribution or availability would not be contrary to local laws or regulations.

There is no guarantee that any investment strategy will work under all market conditions, and each investor should evaluate their ability to invest for the long-term, especially during periods of downturn in the market. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

A separately managed account may not be suitable for all investors. Separate accounts managed according to the Strategy include a number of securities and will not necessarily track the performance of any index. Please consider the investment objectives, risks and fees of the Strategy carefully before investing. A minimum asset level is required. For important information about the investment manager, please refer to Form ADV Part 2.

Any views and opinions provided are those of the portfolio management team and are subject to change at any time due to market or economic conditions and may not necessarily come to pass. Furthermore, the views will not be updated or otherwise revised to reflect information that subsequently becomes available or circumstances existing, or changes occurring. The views expressed do not reflect the opinions of all portfolio managers at Morgan Stanley Investment Management (MSIM) or the views of the firm as a whole, and may not be reflected in all the strategies and products that the Firm offers.

All information provided has been prepared solely for information purposes and does not constitute an offer or a recommendation to buy or sell any particular security or to adopt any specific investment strategy. The information herein has not been based on a consideration of any individual investor circumstances and is not investment advice, nor should it be construed in any way as tax, accounting, legal or regulatory advice. To that end, investors should seek independent legal and financial advice, including advice as to tax consequences, before making any investment decision.

DEFINITIONS

Active share is a measure of the percentage of stock holdings in a manager’s portfolio that differs from the benchmark index (based on holdings and weight of holdings). Active share scores range from 0% - 100%. A score of 100% means you are completely different from the benchmark. Free-cash-flow yield is a financial ratio that measures a company’s operating free-cash-flow minus its capital expenditures per share and dividing by its price per share. Free-cash-flow yield ratio is calculated by using the underlying securities of the portfolio. Return on invested capital (ROIC) is a calculation that represents the rate of return a company makes on the cash it invests in its business. 

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

The indexes are unmanaged and do not include any expenses, fees or sales charges. It is not possible to invest directly in an index. Any index referred to herein is the intellectual property (including registered trademarks) of the applicable licensor. Any product based on an index is in no way sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by the applicable licensor and it shall not have any liability with respect thereto.

The Russell 2000 Growth Index measures the performance of the small-cap growth segment of the U.S. equity universe. It includes those Russell 2000 Index companies with higher price-to-book ratios and higher forecasted growth values. The Russell 2000 Index is a subset of the Russell 3000 Index representing approximately 10% of the total market capitalization of that index. It includes approximately 2,000 of the smallest securities based on a combination of their market capitalization and current index membership.

The information presented represents how the portfolio management team generally implements its investment process under normal market conditions.

Weights and holdings and tracking error provided are a typical range, not a maximum number. The portfolio may exceed this from time to time due to market conditions and outstanding trades.

Morgan Stanley Investment Management is the asset management division of Morgan Stanley.

 

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