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PartnerSelect Smaller Companies Fund MSSFX

Seeking superior long-term performance relative to its peer group of small cap core funds.

Overview

PartnerSelect Smaller Companies Fund, formerly known as Litman Gregory Masters Smaller Companies Fund, seeks superior long-term performance relative to its small-cap benchmark and peer group of small cap blend funds. Like our other equity funds, each of the fund’s managers separately runs a portion of assets by independently managing a portfolio comprised of between 8 and 15 of their highest-conviction stocks. The fund will primarily hold securities of small- and mid-sized U.S. companies. We define a "Smaller Company" as one whose market-capitalization falls within the range of market capitalizations of any company in the Russell 2500 Index. The Russell 2500 Index measures the performance of 2500 small- and mid-sized companies. We expect the majority of the fund's holdings at any point to be in the smaller half of this market-capitalization range, but the fund will have the flexibility to hold mid-sized companies if the investment managers believe that holding these companies will lead to higher overall returns. Though the overall fund may hold more or fewer securities at any point in time, the fund is expected to hold between 24 and 45 securities.

This fund is appropriate for investors who:

  • Want a core small cap equity investment
  • Seek strong market-cycle performance relative to the small-cap asset class, but are less concerned about short-term returns
  • Understand the short-term risks associated with the stock market

DUE DILIGENCE TOOLKIT

Managers

Cove Street Capital

Target Manager Allocation: 33%

Stock-Picking Style: Value

Jeffrey Bronchick

Principal, Portfolio Manager
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Jeffrey Bronchick, CFA is the Portfolio Manager and founder of Cove Street Capital (CSC). He has over 30 years’ experience running research-driven, concentrated, value-based strategies across all market capitalizations. Prior to the founding of CSC, Bronchick was the CIO and a lead principal of Reed Conner & Birdwell, LLC, a Los Angeles based investment manager. He was one of the first columnists for the TheStreet.com in the 1990’s and then moved on to a similar role with Grant’s Interest Rate Observer’s first online effort. Bronchick also previously worked in equity research, sales, and trading roles at Neuberger Berman, Bankers Trust, and First Boston. He attended the London School of Economics and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a BA in Economics.

Cove Street Capital, LLC (CSC) is an SEC registered investment adviser founded by veteran value investor Jeffrey Bronchick, CFA. As of September 30, 2019, Cove Street Capital manages nearly $830mm in assets for a global mix of institutions and high net worth individuals on a separate account, mutual fund, and sub-advisory basis, utilizing a research intensive, concentrated value-based strategy.

Prior to founding Cove Street, Bronchick was the Chief Investment Officer and lead principal of Reed Conner & Birdwell, LLC (RCB), a Los Angeles-based asset manager. After the sale of RCB, Cove Street opened its doors in 2011 with $274mm in AUM, a full investment team, and an institutional caliber operations and compliance infrastructure.

We are continually improving a world-class investment organization that delights clients with excellence in performance and client service, and inspires colleagues with a collegial meritocracy that rewards intellect and ambition.

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Segall Bryant & Hamill

Target Manager Allocation: 33%

Stock-Picking Style: Value

Mark T. Dickherber

Principal, Director of Small Cap Strategies
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Mark Dickherber is a Principal and the Senior Portfolio Manager of Segall Bryant & Hamill’s Small Cap Core and Small Cap Value portfolios and is also responsible for equity research in the Small Cap and Small/Mid Core equity portfolios. Mr. Dickherber is a specialist in the healthcare sector. Prior to joining SBH, Mr. Dickherber served as Director of Research for Kennedy Capital Management, where he had worked since 1996. Mr. Dickherber graduated magna cum laude from the University of Missouri-St. Louis with a B.S. in Accounting. He served as Treasurer for the CFA Society of St. Louis from 2004-2006 and as a Director from 2006-2008. Mr. Dickherber has been in the investment industry since 1996 and has earned Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designations.

Shaun P. Nicholson

Principal, Senior Portfolio Manager
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Shaun Nicholson is a Principal and Senior Portfolio Manager for Segall Bryant & Hamill’s Small Cap strategies. He is the lead Portfolio Manager for our Small Cap Value Concentrated strategy and the Co-Portfolio Manager for our Small Cap Value strategy. Nicholson is also responsible for research related to materials, autos/transports, industrials and regional banks within the respective portfolios. He joined SBH in 2011 after having spent more than six years at Kennedy Capital Management. Prior to Kennedy, Nicholson’s experience was as an Associate Portfolio Manager at U.S. Bancorp Asset Management and as a Financial Analyst at The Boeing Company. Nicholson earned a B.S. from Seton Hall University and earned an MBA from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. He has been in the investment industry since 2002.

Segall Bryant & Hamill (SBH) is an independent investment firm based in Chicago, Illinois, with offices in Denver, Colorado; St. Louis, Missouri; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Naples, Florida.

Founded in 1994, SBH believes in a client-first approach while providing investment management of equity, fixed income, alternative, and asset allocation portfolios. Known for generating performance through proprietary investment research for clients across the country, our experienced team seeks the most attractive investments offered through our various strategies. Our portfolio managers work directly with clients to help maximize investment return while aligning with client goals and specific risk constraints.

Our substantial employee ownership and partnership culture results in the continuity of our investment teams, long-term relationships, and the alignment of our interests with those of our clients. We foster an inclusive work environment, enabling us to attract and develop diverse thinkers and talent.

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Wells Capital Management

Target Manager Allocation: 33%

Stock-Picking Style: Blend

Dick Weiss

Managing Director, Senior Portfolio Manager, Select Equity
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Dick Weiss is a managing director and senior portfolio manager for the Select Equity team at Wells Fargo Asset Management (WFAM). Weiss joined WFAM from Strong Capital Management in 2004. Prior to the merger, Weiss was vice chairman and CIO of Strong. He served as portfolio co-manager of the Strong Advisor Common Stock Fund and the Strong Opportunity Fund. Prior to this, he was a portfolio manager and partner at Stein Roe & Farnham in Chicago where he began his career, starting as a research analyst. Weiss earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Southern California and a master’s degree in business administration, graduating with distinction, from Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration.

Wells Capital Management (“WellsCap”) is the largest institutional asset manager within Wells Fargo Asset Management (“WFAM”), featuring over 25 independent and specialized investment teams. The firm was incorporated in 1981 as First Interstate Investment Services, registered with the SEC in 1984, and became known as WellsCap in 1996. The firm has the resources and backing of its parent company, Wells Fargo & Company, and the operational freedom to manage its business as a leading independent institutional investment manager. The breadth and depth of investment offerings have grown significantly over the years. WellsCap’s evolution has primarily been attributable to a series of successful mergers and acquisitions. Today it offers a wide variety of investment strategies across the asset-class spectrum.

The Select Equity Team, within WellsCap, believes that a concentrated, opportunistic approach offers more flexibility for finding attractive opportunities wherever they might exist, allowing migration into neglected parts of the market that may be undervalued. In their view, value and growth are not opposing strategies but rather complementary ways of evaluating stocks. Depending on the market environment, the strategy may tilt more toward growth at times and more toward value at other times.

The philosophy centers on the belief that having a clear understanding of a company’s “Private Market Value” (PMV)-the price at which an investor would be willing to buy the entire company-can help them take advantage when there are significant gaps between this value and the company’s public market price. Through many years of consistently using the PMV process, they have found that most companies generally trade in a channel of approximately 50% to 80% of PMV. Experience has shown that an opportune time to buy a stock is when its price is around 50% to 60% of PMV, and the best time to sell is when PMV approaches 80%. Using the PMV process helps remove emotion from the decision-making process, positioning them to take advantage of temporary mispricing caused by market emotion.

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Performance

Select the set of performance tables to view.

AVERAGE ANNUAL TOTAL RETURN

 

Performance data quoted represents past performance and does not guarantee future results. The investment return and principal value of an investment will fluctuate so that that an investor’s shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Current performance of the fund may be lower or higher than the performance quoted. Investment performance reflects fee waivers in effect. In the absence of such waivers, total return would be reduced.

Indexes are unmanaged, do not incur fees and cannot be invested in directly.

Returns less than one year are not annualized.

Fund Data

Investment performance reflects fee waivers in effect. In the absence of such waivers, total return would be reduced. The gross and net expense ratios can be found in the most recent Summary Prospectus (4/29/2020). There are contractual fee waivers in effect through 4/30/2021.

While the fund is no-load, management and other expenses still apply.

Portfolio Holdings

  • To view our most recent portfolio holdings, please click here.

Fund holdings and/or sector allocations are subject to change at any time and are not recommendations to buy or sell any security.

Portfolio Composition (As Of 6.30.2020)

Market Capitalization
Small-Cap: < $5.0 Billion
Mid-Cap: $5.0 - $35.5 Billion
Large-Cap: > $35.5 Billion

Sector Allocation Vs. Russell 2000 Index (As Of 6.30.2020)

Fund holdings and/or sector allocations are subject to change at any time and are not recommendations to buy or sell any security.

Historical Fund Composition (As Of 6.30.2020)

Stay Informed

The PartnerSelect Funds monthly email provides investors a way to stay in touch with us and receive information regarding the funds and investment principles in general. Topics may include updates on the funds and managers, further insights into Litman Gregoryʼs processes, and commentary on various aspects of investing.

DISCLOSURE

PartnerSelect Fundsʼ investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses must be considered carefully before investing. The prospectus contains this and other important information about the investment company, and it may be viewed here or by calling 1-800-960-0188. Read it carefully before investing.

Mutual fund investing involves risk. Principal loss is possible.

Investing in smaller companies subjects investors to additional risks, including security price volatility and less liquidity than investing in larger companies. Multi-investment management styles may lead to higher transaction expenses compared to single investment management styles. Outcomes depend on the skill of the sub-advisors and advisor and the allocation of assets amongst them.

Small-cap, mid-cap, and large-cap companies have market capitalizations of less than $4.4b; from $4.4b to $29.4b; and greater than $29.4b, respectively. Market cap breakouts are based on the Russell index reconstitution as of June 30, 2017.

Index Definitions | Industry Tems and Definitions

The PartnerSelect Funds are distributed by ALPS Distributors, Inc