Opalesque Industry Update - Hutchens Investment Management, Inc., an independent investment advisor managing $100 million+ in assets for equity and multi-asset portfolios announced that it has merged with New Leaf Asset Management, LLC.|
New Leaf executives Fletcher Cole, CFA, and Carrie Bossi are now part of the Hutchens team, which employs a disciplined institutional approach focused on fundamentals. Cole re-joins the firm as a partner to spearhead Hutchens’ research initiatives and Ms. Bossi provides research support.
From 1997-2001, Cole was Hutchens’ director of research and portfolio manager during which time he refined the investment models and served as the primary portfolio manager for the firm’s mid-cap accounts. From 2002-2011, prior to the merger with Hutchens, he was managing member and co-founder of New Leaf. A graduate of Dartmouth College, he brings with him additional assets under management that he will continue to manage in a value-oriented approach. In addition, he was previously a submarine warfare officer in the U.S. Navy and also worked with Gabelli & Company and E.R. Taylor Investments.
“Fletcher’s style complements our growth-oriented bent and is well-suited for today’s challenging market environment. We see great cross-pollination potential as we share thoughts on stocks, economic themes and investment ideas, and are committed to providing the highest quality investment services to our institutional and high net worth clients. Our investment process, methodology and philosophy will continue to add value over the long term by controlling risk and focusing on fundamentals,” said William Hutchens, CFA, founder of Hutchens Investment Management.
Hutchens reports that the firm is currently finding interesting equity investment opportunities. Stocks are inexpensive relative to fixed income and other asset classes, and valuations are reasonable for a number of reasons. Earnings have rebounded and are about to reach the all time peak for the S&P 500. In addition, fears of a European debt meltdown are rampant, the U.S. unemployment rate is high, global growth is slowing due to Chinese rate hikes, the U.S. budget deficit will impede economic recovery, and interest rates are at historical lows.
“With all of the fear and doubt out there it is no wonder that the markets are climbing a wall of worry. We see opportunity - not problems. Companies which are able to increase sales beyond analyst expectations and who are still selling at reasonable multiples of earnings and cash flow are potential investment candidates for our clients’ portfolios. Likewise many exchange traded funds are packed with these companies and in many cases we will use them to gain exposure to a particular market sector. Security selection is key to outperforming in this environment. Slow U.S. growth and inflation problems overseas makes it essential to select stocks that are able to thrive in this climate, gaining market share from competitors and managing their finances to the betterment of shareholders,” Hutchens said.