The six open-end and one closed-end FPA Funds are sponsored by Los Angeles-based First Pacific Advisors, an investment advisory firm known for its value-investing approach. CEO Robert Rodriguez has gained prominence as the star PM of the FPA Capital and FPA New Income funds since 1984.
First Pacific Advisors, Inc. was founded in 1953 as the investment arm of the Angeles Corporation.1.
FPA gained prominence with star investor George Michaelis, who PM'd the closed-end Source Capital Fund and was FPA's CEO at the time of his accidental death in 1996. In 1983 a new hire named Bob Rodriguez led its acquisition of the Capital and New Income Funds from Transamerica. The funds then were rebranded as part of the FPA funds.
After suffering real estate investment losses following the 1990 recession, Angeles Corp. sold FPA to United Asset Managers (UAM) in June 1991. Angeles later filed for bankruptcy in 1993.
UAM was in turn acquired by South Africa-headquartered Old Mutual PLC in 2000. That same year Robert Rodriguez was named CEO. FPA reorganized as First Pacific Advisors, LLC in July 2004.
Eight members of the FPA management team formed Resolute LLC to purchase the investment advisory firm from Old Mutual in 2006, making FPA independently owned for the first time.
FPA boasts 60 employees, including 22 investment professionals, managing four equity offerings and a fixed income one, totaling $17 billion (as of 12/1/2011).
CEO Robert Rodriguez
Born in Los Angeles as the son of an electroplator, Rodriguez' has been an "investment junkie" since the fifth grade when he wrote to then Fed Chairman William McChesney Martin as part of a school assignment2 and became a subscriber to the "Federal Reserve Bulletin." He has also said that a movie he saw when he was 12 about the New York Stock Exchange sparked his interest in investing.3
Upon graduating from the University of Southern California (USC) in 1971 he followed a "hot growth" stock strategy until the 1973-74 bear market. He then adopted a Graham & Dodd approach to stock analysis while studying for his MBA at USC.
Rodriguez started his career at Transamerica Investment Services and served as senior portfolio manager at Kaufman & Broad. He joined FPA in 1983.
In 2010, Rodriguez took a 12-month sabbatical, during which time he focused on hobbies including travel and racing Porsches. J. Richard Atwood (FPA's chief operating officer and chief financial officer) and Steven Romick led the firm as managing partners in Rodriguez's stead. Tom Atteberry, Dennis Bryan and Rikard Ekstrand took over Rodriguez's PM duties.
Rodriguez returned to work in January 2011. He works from his home on Lake Tahoe, Nevada.
Morningstar named Rodriguez its Manager of the Year in 1991, then Fixed Income Manager of the Year for both 2001 and 2008.
FPA also does outside mutual fund sub-advisory work. In June 2003 Litman Gregory launched its Masters' Select Smaller Companies Fund, with FPA as one of four sub-advisors. Then in October 2011 Litman Gregory launched its Masters Alternative Strategies Fund, again with a slice sub-advised by FPA.