International Advantage
International Advantage

International Advantage

 
 
 
Summary

Morgan Stanley International Advantage seeks long-term capital appreciation by investing internationally in high-quality established companies that the investment team believes are undervalued at the time of purchase. To achieve its objective, the investment team seeks companies with sustainable competitive advantages and long-term growth that creates value, rather than focusing on short-term events, with stock selection informed by rigorous fundamental analysis.

30-45
TYPICAL NUMBER OF HOLDINGS
>90%
Typical active share
20%-50%
Typical annual turnover
 
 
Investment Approach
Philosophy

The International Advantage Strategy seeks to invest in established companies on an international basis with capitalizations within the range of companies included in the MSCI All Country World ex USA Index. To help achieve this objective, the investment team seeks companies with strong brand recognition, sustainable competitive advantages, strong current free-cash-flow yield, favorable return on invested capital trends, and focuses on long-term growth rather than short-term events, with stock selection informed by rigorous fundamental analysis.

 

 
Differentiators
Culture

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

Reading Network

As part of Counterpoint Global team, the Global Opportunity team has access to a reading network that includes more than 150 investor and non-investor participants at Morgan Stanley. This allows the team to leverage 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 make informed investment decisions.

Distinguishing Characteristics

– Our incentives foster long-term alignment with clients.

– Our disruptive change research helps find big ideas for portfolios.

– Our core values of intellectual curiosity and flexibility, perspective, self-awareness and partnership promote a sustainable and repeatable investment process.

– Our investment philosophy is simple: Warren Buffett investment principles applied to growing companies5.

 
 
 
Investment Process
1
Idea Generation

The investment team generates investment ideas through an ongoing set of activities: (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 30 and 50 securities.

 
 
Investors  
Kristian Heugh
Managing Director
19 years industry experience
Wendy Wang
Managing Director
12 years industry experience
 
 
 
 

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