20 Years of Disciplined Investing—A Discussion with Artisan Partners Investment Teams

Institutional Investor Sponsored Statement, Artisan Partners

Artisan Partners is a global investment management firm founded by Andy and Carlene Ziegler in 1994 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with one investment team and one investment strategy. Today the firm has six autonomous investment teams who manage fourteen investment strategies with over $108 billion in assets under management as of July 31. The firm’s principal offices are located in Milwaukee, San Francisco, Atlanta, New York, Kansas City and London.

As the firm marks its 20-year anniversary, Artisan Partners CEO Eric Colson and portfolio managers from the firm’s investment teams reflect on the founding principles that have contributed to the firm’s success over the past two decades.

How did the firm get its start?

Eric Colson, CEO: When Andy and Carlene started the business, two secular trends were taking hold in the market— talent acquisition and open architecture. These two trends shaped the firm’s growth strategy. The talent acquisition movement within the industry created the opportunity for us to attract investment talent to a company where high-quality investors are allowed to execute their own investment process without distractions. Open architecture provided the framework to distribute high-quality products more freely through consultants and mutual fund platforms if we had the right talent and results. Our business model has always been structured around our investment talent. Over the years, we have attracted six teams to our firm. Through the evolution of those teams our firm now manages fourteen distinct US, non-US and global investment strategies.

How has the investment culture at Artisan Partners allowed you to be successful?

Mark Yockey, Portfolio Manager, Global Equity Team: My passion is investing—that’s where I want to spend the lion’s share of my time and being at Artisan allows me to do that. The firm’s business model of autonomous investment teams supported by a centralized business management function enables our team to freely focus on what we do best, which is the investment piece. We focus on investment performance and the business leadership team focuses on providing portfolio managers and investment professionals the time and tools they need to make good investment decisions. It’s very much an investment-driven organization.

How has Artisan Partners changed over the past two decades?

Craigh Cepukenas, Portfolio Manager, Growth Team: When I joined Artisan Partners in 1995 (I was the 10th employee), it was a start-up firm with one product, but Andy Ziegler’s vision was clear from inception—if you bring together an outstanding business management team, build a solid infrastructure and hire talented investment managers, you’d have something. That vision gave the firm a sound foundation for building a superior asset management firm with a conservative approach that aligned with the interests of investors. Since then, the firm has built upon that foundation a compilation of autonomous investment franchises each focused on their own discipline. This investment culture has been carefully curated over the years—the business model and level of talent at the firm is a powerful combination.

How has Artisan Partners supported the evolution of your investment franchise?

Jim Kieffer, Portfolio Manager, U.S. Value Team: I joined the firm back in 1997 with my partner Scott Satterwhite. From the beginning, we have had an ideal setup—we were able to build our investment team in Atlanta the way we thought would best suit our goals of creating value for investors and are supported by the full infrastructure of the home office. It’s similar to owning your own business without the headaches of managing that business. I think one of the reasons the firm’s business model works so well is that the investment teams are given the time and focus needed to manage assets. Furthermore, we do not have a chief investment officer trying to influence our decisions. We have true autonomy to execute our own investment discipline in the way we think adds the most value. The unheralded part of the equation is the quality of the talent in the business support functions—from IT to accounting to distribution and marketing. We recognize that the strength of the firm’s inner parts allow us to spend more time than our peers working on and thinking about investing. That is key.

N. David Samra, Portfolio Manager, Global Value Team:

Artisan Partners business model allows for investment autonomy combined with economic incentives that are unambiguous and directly tied to performance.The combination is powerful to those investors who are entrepreneurs and want more than just a job. Once our investment performance goals are met, the centralized business functions and dedicated distribution teams act as a key driver of our franchise. They provide institutional quality services, which are a basic client need in the marketplace that we address. In short, our franchise has grown significantly as a result of investment performance, distribution effectiveness, service quality and careful nurturing and communication of our philosophy.

What makes Artisan Partners unique?

Maria Negrete-Gruson, Portfolio Manager, Emerging Markets Team: When I joined the firm back in 2006, I was impressed with how differently the firm thought about the asset management business. Artisan is not an asset gatherer with goals around AUM. It’s all about preserving the integrity of the process and offering the right resources to the investment teams. Andy Ziegler and Eric Colson expressed how committed the firm was to the independence of the investment process for each team. And that has been my experience. I also think the firm’s entrepreneurial spirit is something that makes us different—it is something that is very hard to preserve as companies grow and I think Artisan has done a terrific job of maintaining that spirit and fresh attitude as the business evolves over time.

What attracted you to Artisan Partners?

Bryan Krug, Portfolio Manager, Credit Team: I joined Artisan Partners because I was attracted to the business model. I think Artisan has a fantastic investment culture —it’s truly an investment organization. I value the ability to have an autonomous team, and that I have the freedom and resources to develop a team the way I feel is best suited to my investment process. Artisan’s institutionally-focused distribution channels and commitment to thoughtful growth were also important. Everyone at the firm has been extremely supportive and focused on building a world-class investment franchise.

What’s on the horizon for the next 20 years?

Eric Colson, CEO: We have come a long way over the past 20 years in some ways but one thing has remained constant—we are 100% focused on high-value added investments driven by original thinkers for sophisticated clients. Looking forward, our focus remains on our investment teams, strategies and results for our clients. Within our existing teams and potential new teams, we continue to seek higher degrees of investment freedom to deliver value-added results. Our evolution will align with our infrastructure and long-term oriented client base. With any type of growth, it must be thoughtful. We will continue to look for opportunities to grow our business in a way that maximizes long-term career opportunities for our investment professionals and provides relevant investment solutions for our clients.


Investments will rise and fall with market fluctuations and investor capital is at risk. The views and opinions presented herein are believed to be reliable at the time of publication; however, those views are subject to change and there is no guarantee to the accuracy or completeness of any statement in the discussion. This material is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as investment advice.

Artisan Partners Limited Partnership (APLP) is an investment adviser registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Artisan Partners UK LLP (APUK) is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is a registered investment adviser with the SEC. APLP and APUK are collectively, with their parent company and affiliates, referred to as Artisan Partners herein. Artisan Partners is not registered, authorized or eligible for an exemption from registration in all jurisdictions. Therefore, services described herein may not be available in certain jurisdictions. This material does not constitute an offer or solicitation where such actions are not authorized or lawful. Further limitations may be imposed.

Issued in the United Kingdom by APUK, 25 St. James’s Street, 3rd Floor, London SW1A IHA. Registered in England and Wales as a Limited Liability Partnership under partnership No. OC351201. Registered office: Reading Bridge House, 4th Floor, George Street, Reading, Berkshire RG1 8LS.

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