Chicago-based Harris Associates, founded in 1976, is the investment advisor to the Oakmark Funds. Harris is a privately held, indirect subsidiary of Natixis Global Asset Management.
Harris conducts its own research in-house and employs a fundamental, bottom-up stock-picking approach. On the fixed income side, Harris' offerings range from short- to intermediate-term.
As of June 30, 2017, Harris' team of 198 employees (including 39 investment professionals) managed $124 billion.
Oakmark Fee Case
In August 2004, three investors in the Oakmark funds sued Harris, alleging that the funds' fees were excessive, thus violating Section 36(b) of the Investment Company Act of 1940, and that the board of directors, who is responsible for approving the fees, was not sufficiently independent. Furthermore, the investors took issue with the fact that Harris charged separately managed accounts for pension funds as little as half what is charged retail mutual funds for comparable services.
The suit, which was originally filed in an Illinois federal district court, was dismissed before it came to trial in 2007. In August 2008, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh circuit declined to rehear the case but raised the stakes when the five judges, who included renowned jurist Richard Posner, signed a dissenting opinion stating that the case was ripe for reexamination as there was little incentive for the board of directors to police compensation.
The Supreme Court of the United States heard oral arguments for Harris v. Jones on November 2, 2009. Then on March 30, 2010, the Supreme Court
unanimously overruled the Seventh Circuit's dismissal of Jones v. Harris Associates.
Bill Nygren PM, Chief Investment Officer for U.S. Equities, Harris Associates
Kristi Rowsell Partner and President, Harris Associates L.P.
Robert Levy Partner, Chairman and Chief Investment Officer - U.S. Equities, Harris Associates L.P.
David Herro Partner, PM, Chief Investment Officer - International Equity, Harris Associates
Mike Neary Partner, Client Portfolio Manager, Harris Associates L.P.
Janet Reali Partner and General Counsel, Harris Associates L.P.
Herman Chief Financial Officer, Harris Associates L.P.
Jeffrey Illian Chief Information Officer, Harris Associates