Artisan's Yockey Earns a Profile
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Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Artisan's Yockey Earns a Profile

Barron's this week has picked the $9 billion Artisan International Fund [profile], managed by Mark Yockey, for their mutual fund profile.

The profile, written by Steve Garmhausen, described Yockey's approach as one that is both "creative," but also displays "common-sense."

Case in point: the article quotes Yockey was saying "we prefer to buy companies in the developed world that have exposure to emerging markets, as opposed to investing in those markets directly." Interestingly, the stock he selected to achieve this exposure was French company Pernod Ricard because it allows his fund to tap the rising power of the emerging-market consumer while avoiding emerging-market countries' less-predictable accounting and legal environments. Through Thursday, Pernod had returned 20 percent, and is up more than 80 percent since Yockey bought it in May 2009. Artisan International has returned 14 percent so far this year, more than double the benchmark and beating 99 percent of its foreign large-blend peers. In the past 10 years, it has beaten nearly 80 percent of its peers.

A profile in Barron's is a powerful, free, marketing boon for any mutual fund seeking greater investor attention.

The Barron's article also stated that the fund's staff spend "a lot of time looking at what companies do with their profits," according to Yockey. Reinvesting in core areas, for example, and paying dividends, and repurchasing shares can be good uses for cash, but using it to diversify can spell trouble, the article added.

According to the article, Yockey is cautious about Europe. He believes there's a good chance that Greece will exit the euro. In such a scenario, the article quotes Yockey saying, the rest of the European Union would likely hold together with help from Germany and the European Central Bank.

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