Westwood Holdings Group (WHG)
I first became aware of the Dallas-based asset manager Westwood Holdings Group (WHG) when I read about its founder, Susan Byrne, in an article that appeared in Fortune magazine several years ago. Her firm has been doing great things outside the bright lights of Manhattan ever since.
In the past 10 years, WHG stock has kept up with other publicly traded asset managers and then some, achieving an annualized total return of 15.4% — almost eight percentage points higher than its peers.
Westwood hit Canadian business news in April 2012 when it hired away Patricia Perez-Coutts. At the time, she was an emerging markets star manager for Toronto-based AGF Management (AGFMF), along with the rest of her team. WHG quickly set up Westwood International Advisers in Toronto with the mandate of attracting money from outside the U.S. as well as providing advice to global funds at WHG.
Its mutual fund assets under management are the smallest of three segments in the company, yet they grew by 49% year-over-year to $2.4 billion at the end of September. A key reason for that growth was securing Perez-Coutts and her team. Unfortunately, the move also has them in court, so expect legal wrangling sometime this year.
While WHG is the smallest of all five in terms of both market cap and assets under management, it definitely can hold its own when it comes to competing with other asset managers. I like its future even more so since WHG opened the international office in Toronto.
As of this writing, Will Ashworth did not own a position in any of the aforementioned securities.