Joseph Dennison, CFA
I work on the investment team as a portfolio manager. So along with Nancy, Brooke, Leslie and Anthony, I am researching, discovering and investing in new companies that drive performance for our clients.
When we’re in earnings season, as we are now, our focus is on our companies’ individual quarterly reports. We’re seeing how the market reacts, trying to keep a fresh perspective, seeing if there are any big dislocations.
Previously, I worked in the public defender’s office. I learned how to maintain a level head. There was certainly some volatility there, and there’s definitely some here, too.
On tough days, it helps to know I have the support of the team. We’re all sitting there together. It’s not like you’re locked in a closet trying to handle everything by yourself. We all understand what we’re trying to do for the next three, five, or ten years is not going to be changed by price actions today.
I think what makes our research different is that we’re a lot more open-minded. There’s not really anything that is off the table. We’re always looking to get a hands-on, real-world understanding of how people are using things. We are optimists in the sense of how big things can get.
If we want to own the company for ten years, we want to be aligned with the people who are going to be there for the next ten years. And we’re working to establish that this is a real industry, with real business people with financial backgrounds, with excellent business minds.
“I think what makes our research different is that we’re a lot more open-minded.”
I met one on one with the founder and CEO of a graduate education software company. His passion for what he was doing—his understanding of where the world is going and all the different dynamics of that industry, which is very slow moving and slow to adopt. This was exciting because we’re always looking at different industries, spaces where technology can have a huge transformative impact and make a difference.
One of my sectors is healthcare, and there is always something exciting happening. We’re trying to find companies that have—say from a biotech side—already have an approved product addressing large unmet medical needs across the globe. It’s very similar to how we look at any other company—a proven product that can grow, and scales.
I love everything about this work. From when you first hear about a company, to learning the business model, the people, their background, what drove them. The most exciting parts come with implementing a new company into the portfolio and seeing the impact.
As far as advice, my dad is a man of few words. He’s a football coach so he’s always said, “you can never know too much, or study too much.”
I think what I’m good at is a balanced approach. Being able to tie the loop together. Seeing where Leslie’s coming from, where Nancy’s coming from, where Brooke and Anthony are coming from. We’re all looking for the same thing no matter what sector it is and trying to distill big ideas and big companies down to the core investible traits that we’re looking for—growth and people.
“If we want to own the company for ten years, we want to be aligned with the people who are going to be there for the next ten years. And we’re working to establish that this is a real industry, with real business people with financial backgrounds, with excellent business minds.”